Again!

One time a father and his young son went on an overnight camping trip for the first time.  While it was still quite dark, the father arose and started a fire.  Then he aroused his sleeping son.  After protesting a little, the boy got up.  He stood near the fire trying to keep warm as they waited.  He knew they had come to witness the sunrise.             Soon it began!  The blackness in the east gradually turned to gray, then the gray turned to blue.  The image of a lake and shadowy trees began to emerge out of the darkness.  The blue turned to a near-white color.  Finally, pink, violet, and orange hues emerged in the east over the pines!  Suddenly the valley was flooded with light.  They watched this spectacular display in silent awe.              Finally, the boy could stand it no longer.  He turned to his father and said, “Dad, do it again!  Do it again!”             “Again, again!”  If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words from Elise and Sarah. I would be a very rich man.  Sarah is the queen of, “do it again, daddy!”  Every time we would do something fun…. Lift her up, spin her around… it didn’t matter.  She wanted to do it again.             It seems to me to be a lot like our Christian year.  Here we come again to another Easter on April 21st.  Once again, we will retell the story of God’s great love for us poured out in the person of Jesus.  Once again, we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the empty tomb. But as we retell the story let us not just jump to the end.  Let us not just skip to the empty tomb.  Let’s take our time to walk through the shadows; to sit with Jesus around the table with the disciples as he tells them what is about to happen.  Let’s feel together the disappointment and the pain of watching him give his life for us.  Because only after we understand the pain of holy week can we truly appreciate the elation of Easter and the resurrection.  Join us on Sunday, April 14th for Palm Sunday as we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.  Join us again on Thursday, April 18th for a Holy Week service that will take us from the Last Supper through the Crucifixion.  And join us on April 24th as we celebrate that Jesus has defeated death and rose again.   May our hearts, in excitement, experience this wonderful event and proclaim, “Again!   Again!”   Grace and Peace,   Pastor Chris