Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ and Ministry,
As I sit putting final touches on our Palm Sunday worship service, I reflect on the week before us and the many characters who take part in the crucifixion and resurrection story. I am reminded of the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the steadfastness and the betrayal, the zeal and the apathy. And as I do so, I find that my faith journey echoes these events and characters.
I have often said I could relate well to Peter. When Peter was good, he was really good and when Peter was bad he was really bad. Maybe good and bad are not the correct descriptive words. When Peter “got it,” it seemed as if he really “got it,” but in the next moment his words and actions would call that certainty into question.
Has anyone ever told you, “Your mood changes like the weather.”? The weather has been changing a lot where I am located in the past few weeks. Actually, our entire winter season has been a persistently changing pattern from temperatures in the 70’s to the teens and from warm rains to freezing snows. This season of rapidly changing weather patterns as also been a season of rapidly changing faith patterns as I ride the highs of understanding and peace in the lack of understanding to the dark depths of anxiety over what the future holds and weariness in challenging moments.
I am taking comfort this season in the stories of the continually fluctuating attitudes of the disciples and the fickle crowd who shouted, “Hosanna!” one day and “Crucify Him!” only days later. It is not a contented comfort, but a hopeful comfort knowing that the moments of anxiety and uncertainty will be swallowed up in the light of resurrection. Even as I/we prepare to preach the message of salvation, resurrection and eternity we find our own dry bones coming to life again, our windless sails filled with the breath of God’s Spirit and the certainty of new life blossoming.
Though I do not know each of your names or have recognition of all of your faces, I pray for you, Sisters and Brothers in Christ and ministry, that the power of the resurrection truth will fill and enlighten you and all that is yours.
And may Christ dwell in our hearts through faith—that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. To the glory of God and the salvation of the people God loves!