We’ve walked almost 40 days through the season of Lent, and we’re almost there. And as Holy Week builds toward the crescendo of the crucifixion and we wait in anticipation of Easter Morning, I think it’s appropriate to remember how we got here. So many years ago, at the dawn of creation, sin entered the world by the actions of one man and one woman. But God was still determined to love this world made by God’s own hands. Nothing that humanity could do was enough to erase the marks of sin. So, God had to do something. And thank God that He did.
On a still, dark night in the sleepy town of Bethlehem on the outskirts of Jerusalem, in the same city that King David was from, God’s only begotten Son was born. Just as sin entered the world through one man and one woman, salvation was brought into the world by God’s only Son. But very few people realized it yet. And so, the boy grew into a man over the years.
Beginning with his baptism in the river Jordan, Jesus began three action packed years of ministry that were meant to declare that the reign of sin and death were coming to an end. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. He challenged the status quo. He drove moneychangers out of the Temple. With every word and every action, Jesus sought to erase the lines that existed between people and between people and God. He declared that no one was beyond the love of God. And for his efforts, Jesus was arrested and executed. And as Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross, the powers of this world thought that that was an end to the movement that Jesus had begun.
But, the cross was not final, and the tomb would not be permanent. God was about to do something new. As we wait for Easter morning, don’t skip by the cross. Linger for a moment and remember what Christ went through to save us because God loves us so much. Linger for a moment, then join us for sunrise worship on Easter morning as we declare to the world that Christ is victorious.
My question for us is; where do people experience grace and welcome? Because wherever it is that they find grace and are welcomed despite their mistakes, that is where they will go. In a world with so many other things and places competing with the church for people’s attention, if we aren’t where grace and new life is found, then we find them here with us praising God.
Rev. Andrew Hook