Easter Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year, and the highlight is attending worship at St. Andrew. I love when the church is bursting at the seams. When it’s hard to find a parking spot or a seat in the sanctuary. I love when the congregation joins in singing “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today” and “Up from the Grave He Arose.” And I especially love hearing the St. Andrew Easter Sunday rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus.
Come & See
A Continued reflection of a Good Friday thought...
A celebration, not a sacrifice!
Perhaps the feeling of having so far to go intensifies around Easter. We have a God who comes to us in the flesh, and shares messages of love, peace and hope only to endure the worst of humanity – envy, vengeance, betrayal, denial, and death. “This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, shed for you.” And yet I, like a child or a disciple sleeping in the garden, often miss the gravity of the sacrifice made for me. It is too much, too much to bear…the thought of the magnitude of pain suffered in the crucifixion…the crushing weight of even the lamb of god crying out, “Why have you forsaken me?” Utter darkness, debilitating grief.
But dawn breaks, the stone is gone, the angel declares Jesus has risen!! Go now and tell the others! The sacrifice has been made for you! For you, Jesus has borne the pain. For you, death has lost its power. No go and tell the others. Easter is here!! The sorrow, guilt and suffering is behind us. A new life, a new chance to go. I have so far to go, but the journey is a celebration, not a sacrifice! Through Jesus, God has sent the message...though each of us have far to go – take solace, rejoice!! We are saved! Give freely, in celebration! Share your talents, with joy! Open your hearts, to overflow. Go and tell the others. Go and show the others. Before Easter, we sacrifice. After Easter, we celebrate, we give. And the greatest gift is love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Sometimes I look around at how I live and wonder, how does my standard of living look to God? I have way more house than is truly necessary. I take my kids out for sushi, which costs much more than what would provide the essential nutrition for their growing bodies. How many pairs of shoes tumble out of their shoe bin? Will my God understand why I continue to live in such leisure, while others - whom I could help - continue to suffer? I am the camel, and the eye of the needle is very small.
About Those Hard Things…
So, four weeks ago I wrote about how I just love this whole “do hard things” thing and how I was just swooning with how great it is to challenge myself to do bigger and harder things all the time. Much like any type of sugar high…that faded as time went on and when I hit some really hard days last week, I could have used that girl who was all hyped up on how great it is to do hard things.
This space has its roots in the history of how this congregation came to be - a group of Jesus followers inviting others to come and see Christ as well. Once a month, we will bring forth a devotional from years gone by. Today we re-member (put together again in our minds) from twenty-five years ago today in the Lenten Devotional of 1992 - April 7th to be precise:
When Jesus talked to the fishermen by the Lake Jesus surprisingly told them to throw their nets in deeper water.
So the point is that we should sometimes try something different...even if it seems a little odd at the time.
Jesus' message was to follow Him.
He told them that he was God, and he was right, so just because some people did not believe, does not mean it was not true.
When the disciples did as He said, their nets overflowed with fish and nearly ripped.
Jesus is the greatest and following Him is fun!
~submitted by Tim Robinson (age 10)