April 2019
From Pastor Paul

Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Do You Really Know the Easter Story?

Things aren’t always what they seem. We think we know the whole story. We think we have all of the facts straight . Yet, if we stop and listen, we find out that we really only know a small portion of the story. If we allow ourselves to put aside any preconceived notions and actually hear a story for what it is, chances are we will be surprised at what we learn that we never knew before.

The Easter story is a striking example of how we think we know a story.  We think we have all the details.  If we actually listen to the story, we find that things aren’t always what they seem.  A story that we think we know so well and yet we leave out details that are essential to understanding the whole story.

When you tell the Easter story do you remember to add in the surprise of the disciples, the doubt of Peter, the marvel of Mary, the shock of the culmination of the events of three days? It’s easy to gloss over the Easter story because we think we have all the details because we’ve heard it so often.  We’ve grown accustomed to the story that we sometimes forget to hear the whole story in its glory. We gloss over the key moments; and by doing that, we miss out on the full story.

In 2019 we have the privilege of knowing how the story ends, we know that despite all the fear, darkness and confusion that exists in the days leading up to Easter, there will be a reason to celebrate.

What if, this Lent season, as it leads into Easter, we don’t get ahead of ourselves?  What if, this year during Holy Week, we don’t jump to the end of the week and we don’t jump from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday? Rather, shall we sit and listen to the story as it unfolds, as if we are hearing it for the very first time.

After all that week’s events change everything.  Everything.  Don’t those events deserve our respect to hear them for the first time rather than assume we know the story because we’ve heard it before?

The scandalous plan of God, revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, reveals to us that what we see is not all there is. Easter tells us that a man convicted is not really guilty, that a cruel instrument of torture and death is really a symbol of remarkable hope and grace; it also tells us that an empty tomb is what we should have expected all along.

Jesus came to Earth to take on the sin of the world through a sacrifice that can never be duplicated. The path that was taken was broken, complicated, dangerous —but necessary.  If we listen to the whole story, we realize that the only thing that we can know for certain is that God’s love for all of God’s people never goes away.

This year, experience the Easter story again for the first time. Take the time to listen to the whole story, to experience the details while being reminded of God’s love for God’s people.  Embrace the idea that there is always more to the story that not everything is always as it first appears.

After all, what seemed like certain death turned into ever - lasting life.

Servants together,
Pr. Paul <><
p.s. Did you know???  The photo-a-day challenge has been wonderfully successful.  It has reached as far as Germany and Israel and has had an average of 53 "likes” and 16 photos each day on Facebook.  Thank you to all who have participated and keep those pictures coming.
p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???  "Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”