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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

March 2016

Can you believe how early Easter is this year? We are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord on March I have to tell you, Holy Week is one of the most challenging weeks I face as a pastor all year. No, its not just because I have to work more than one day that week! Its because the week is an emotional roller coaster! We start with one of the most joyful Sundays of the year on Palm Sunday. We sing "Hosanna!" as we celebrate our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem to be our savior. Our confirmands boldly stand and confess their faith before God, His church, and the world. It is truly a morning to be full of joy. However, joy gives place to sorrow as we move into Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, where our dear Lord proclaims His death at the Last Supper and gives up His sinless life as a sacrifice for our sins. While we as a congregation mourn and repent with eyes fixed on the cross, I am already ahead of you all as I am writing my Easter sermon, in which sorrow will give way to joy! Good Friday for pastors is always mixed with Easter. We preach in the horror of death, all the while holding back our excitement over what is to come on Sunday!

In this way, my roller-coaster experience of Holy Week is a microcosm of the Christian life. Life in Christ is filled with great joy and great sorrow. Sometimes we are making bold confessions and singing praises; sometimes we are receiving the blessings of Christ; sometimes we are suffering through trials, fears, and temptations; sometimes we are confronted with the horrors of death. But, through all of it, we are anticipating something yet to come. As we joyfully confess in the Nicene Creed, "We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come!" Good Friday is horrifying, but Easter is stronger!

Jesus, as we will say that glorious March 27th, is risen indeed! He has gone through death and found it to be an unworthy opponent. For, Easter is stronger! Jesus is stronger than death. His resurrection serves as a promise to you, that you who believe in him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16). As we sing in the great Easter hymn, "Jesus is risen and we shall arise!" Death has lost its sting to the victory of Jesus Christ! What this means is that life can no longer overwhelm you. The roller coaster that is our life in Christ is filled with highs and lows, victories and failures, sin and forgiveness. But, beneath all of it is the promise of Jesus: You will rise and live forever! The excitement of anticipation under girds and overwhelms all of our life.

This does not mean that we won't weep and mourn, fear and fail, struggle and sin. It just means Jesus promises that those are temporary, and the joy He has laid before us is eternal! The promise of Easter,
that Jesus has risen and you will arise, gives you a sure and certain hope to sustain you into life everlasting! Always remember, Easter is stronger!

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email