Travel Holy Week

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When you look at the world, are you encouraged or discouraged? We just saw another school shooting in Florida. Politicians and celebrities alike are facing numerous sexual misconduct charges. Our culture continues to deteriorate morally. Wars still rage and terrorism continues. These are only a few major negative factors in our world. But remember, “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) That’s encouraging! It’s hopeful!  In the latest issue of our LCMC magazine “Connections,” a teenager quoted C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world… Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.” That real thing is Jesus. He gives us a reason to live and fight for love and compassion in a world that no longer cares.

When you look at the Church, are you encouraged or discouraged? Some churches seem to have abandoned the Bible as God’s Word and authority, and embraced the ways of the world instead of the Way of Christ.  Worship attendance and Christian Education have declined. Christians are persecuted for their faith.  Our Lord’s Great Commission doesn’t appear to be the Church’s main mission. But remember, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy.” (Ephesians 5:25b-26a) That’s encouraging! It’s hopeful!  Jesus has poured his Holy Spirit into his Church and will not let the gates of hell prevail against his Church.

When we look at things in the world and in the Church that might be considered discouraging, in Christ we can be encouraged and encouraging to others. We see opportunities to love others and share the Good News of salvation. Wherever there is fear, God’s perfect love casts out fear. Greater is the One living inside of me, than he who is living in the world. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” We have God’s gifts to do God’s work.

The last week of this month we call Holy Week; holy, because Jesus Christ sanctified the time and events we observe with his suffering, death and resurrection. This is God’s plan for our salvation! This is our opportunity to share Christ and encourage others. It’s easier on Easter Sunday, but we really can’t get to Easter without going through Holy Week with Jesus. Without the crucifixion, there can be no resurrection. The world sees the cross as a discouraging negative; Bible believing Christians see the cross as God’s way for us to have eternal life. That’s encouraging and hopeful!

Pastor Wandrey 

Holy Week Worship Schedule: Palm Sunday, March 25, 10:00 a.m.; Maundy Thursday with Holy Communion, March 29, 7:00 p.m.; Good Friday Tenebrae Service of Darkness and Candles, March 30, 7:00 p.m.; Resurrection Festival Easter Sunday, April 1, 10:00 a.m.