Some demand miraculous signs and others look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the week tings of the world to shame the strong. I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
(Excerpt from St. Paul's writing in 1 Corinthians 11:23-12:5)
We are in the week of the church calendar that has come to become "holy week." The term holy is used to described something set apart for a specific godly purpose. This week is one that is set apart for us to reflect on the climactic events of the life of Jesus - his crucifixion and his resurrection.
Whenever we come to this week there is an element in which I very much feel like Paul. I approach it in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. How can I speak clearly about something that is such a profound mystery? How can I reflect well on something that starts at such a profoundly illogical starting place - the God of the universe, on earth as a fully human being, and after living the perfect human life willingly submitted himself to the cruelest of deaths "for our sins" before coming back to life so that "all will be made alive." Wow! There's way more than one Easter weekend worth of stuff to try to understand.
And then I look at Paul's declaration to the church in Corinth: "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." For those of us who want to understand everthing about how the cross worked and what happened on that first Good Friday, this can be frustrating. Paul doesn't really explain it. He accepts it. Jesus died and Jesus lives and through that we can live.
As we head towards Easter weekend, think about that. Jesus came to offer life to the full and he makes it available to us through the cross and his resurrection. I don't know all of the ins and outs of how God accomplished his purposes, but thankfully I don't need to understand it all in order to enjoy the reality of it. And so that is what we will focus on this weekend . . . the reality of the life Jesus offers.
As we head towards Good Friday, I'd like you to prayerfully consider what realities in your life that should be left at the cross of Jesus. What feelings? What grudges? What habits or ways of speech? What attitudes? What ideas about God and his expectations of you don't jive with a God so full of love he would embrace the cross for you?
On Easter Sunday we'll be hearing from four biblical characters who met the resurrected Jesus. Each of them discovered something about the life we are offered by a living saviour - the life each of us are offered through Jesus.
I hope that you'll prioritize coming together with us as we consider "Jesus Christ and him crucified" during this special, set-apart time in church life. I pray that you'll invite others to join you so that they too may discover something of the life God really wants for each of us.
Until then I'm praying (along with St. Paul) "that you may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:18-19)
- Penetang Community Good Friday Service - 10:30 am, April 14 at First Presbyterian Church. You are welcome to bring cheese, fruit, or goodies to share after the service.
- Covenant Easter Celebration - 10 am at École secondaire Le Caron (22 John St., Penetang). You are invited to bring napkin friendly snacks to share with coffee & tea after the service. Children (up to grade 5) will be dismissed part way through the service for their own special program.