Hello my friends,
The other morning, I was awakened by a loud sound that I hadn’t heard in quite awhile. When I was able to focus, I realised the loud noise outside was the combined voices of birds calling out in what seemed to be one big sound! Now, since I started writing Office Update I have been going on about birds, but this morning every single bird I had heard announcing spring was making up this loud ruckus! I even heard a Canada Goose honking away! When I looked toward the window, I noticed the sun was starting to come up. The birds were responding to the rising sun!
Imagine nestled safely in the trees, surrounded by other sheltering birds; you’re in the dark and then suddenly the sun comes up and everything is awash in light and warmth. Its only natural that you would want to call out to your friends, family, and neighbours! A day has begun, and everything is new! In this light it was hard for me to feel to put out. How could I not be flattered that I was, albeit indirectly, invited to this celebration! This reminded me of Easter and the joy we as Christian feel at the risen Christ. I thought, wow all God’s kingdom knows that something new is coming. I could actually relax and simply wait and celebrate.
And then yesterday happened. We’re any of you caught up in that storm? I haven’t seen such moody and unpredictable weather in a long time. The sky went hugely dark with all sorts of shades. Then it started to hail. I looked out the sanctuary window at 104 Avenue and the whole street was covered with little white hail stones. There were so many it looked like a white river flowing down the road. When the snow began to accumulate, I began to get this sinking feeling. Where did all that good feeling hope go that I just felt a day ago with the birds and the sun?
With all this weather going on it got me thinking that the storm and my response to it, must have been very much what the disciples and apostles were experiencing on Good Friday. They were with their teacher – the sun was bright and warm. And then suddenly it changes, and it changes fast and intensely. It so easy to lose hope.
Let’s be honest, we could easily get discouraged during this holy week listening to the story again of what Jesus experienced on his journey to the Cross. Its not pleasant and it can be hard to revisit particularly in light of what is happening in the world and in our lives today. The message of Holy Week is not one that is to be locked into a lifetime of regret for things done or left undone, but to direct us to the changes that can happen in light of mistakes we make, because Christ Jesus has shone us a way even in the face of great adversary, betrayal, and misunderstanding.
Holy Week is a retelling of an event that is as big as life and just as intense. What we see in the Passion of Christ is a story that plays itself out in our everyday lives in all the days of the year. It reminds us that the hoped-for resurrection and change is already unfolding around us. And that God’s grace is abundant and comes with no strings. When Jesus rises from the tomb on Easter Sunday it is like God taking a highlighter and say “See THIS” I am the birds that wake you with the sun and ask you to look heaven way, but I AM also the awesomeness of the storm which reminds us that yes, we are important, but we are one aspect of Creation.
As I look out the window today, I see the sun coming through some dark clouds. You wouldn’t know that at this time a day before it was dark, stormy, and hailing. I can actually see that the lavender plants have sprout new shoots that weren’t there yesterday. I would think the hail and rain from yesterday did them all well. Another reminder of the symbiotic relationship we share with God and God shares with creation. Jesus reminds us that he is “…the resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” With that in mind we can move deeper into the deeper reality of the Holy Week. Nothing is as it seems, but one thing that stays constant is God’s perpetual graceful embrace that shields us from the storm and warms us in the sun. God blesses us all during this time.
SOME DATES TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Good Friday Service will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 15
- Easter Sunday Service will be at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, April 17
- Both Services will Hybrid and a ZOOM link for both is at the end of this email.
- April 18 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- April 19 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- April 20 Closed
- April 21 Closed
- April 22 Closed
The Federal Health Authority has recommended that mask be warn indoors and when in close proximity for the extended weekend due to a surge in Covid cases. In church we have been masking at our own comfort level and we would encourage everyone to continue to do this with some added awareness of our neighbour’s potential concerns.
Topic: SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE/FELLOWSHIP TIME (10am live worship)
Time: Apr 17, 2022 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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All the best,