“I thank God for all who made this Holy Week and Easter a tribute to our Lord, Jesus Christ. The thoughtfulness of using your gifts and generosity for preparation, cleaning, serving, assisting at worship, and being models of a joyful people is much appreciated. Be blessed as we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord!”

With Joy,

Pastor Dana

Enjoy some photos from the week!

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On Maundy Thursday evening Jesus continues the week of paradox. He tells his disciples to prepare a passover meal. They do this, but there is no host. So they have no servants there to wash their dirty feet. When you eat in Bible days you lay around on cushions on the floor. You are nose to toes, as it were. And since your feet are filthy from the dust, you don’t to be eating with someones feet in your face.

No on jumps up to volunteer to wash feet like a servant would do. Then Jesus, the King of the Universe gets up puts on his foot-washing uniform and washes everyone’s feet himself. The master takes on the role of the servant. And then he says,

“Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. You speak accurately, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

So, Jesus turns the whole world upside down, again. There are to be no masters only those who serve each other.

ME

What does washing the feet of others tell you about Jesus?

Thursday March 10- Don’t Get Stuck

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Mark 14:46-49

Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.

Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”

Swords and clubs and then, right in the middle of the mob, we see one of the disciples attacks the high priest’s body guard and cuts off his ear. We don’t know who he is. The Gospel of John gives it up close and personal. He says the sword fighter is Peter.

Everyone knows when you are going through awful times in life, you don’t want to be alone. But, sometimes even your best friend is going to mess up.

So, Peter tires to defend Jesus. But, it’s not necessary. The religious leaders didn’t need any weapons at all. Jesus wasn’t a revolutionary in a violent way. They know this already. They are looking for a reason to use them. And Jesus doesn’t need defending. That’s why Peter messes up once again. He could have started a slaughter. Mark won’t even name Peter because this action is completely out of bounds. Jesus has nothing to do with armed revolution.

Fortunately, the mob doesn’t turn against Jesus and the disciples. Probably because Caiaphas the high priest, is waiting at home to mess with Jesus. So, Jesus takes this time to teach, once again.Everything that is happening has already been predicted in our Bible. Let’s keep going here. There’s a world to save. I am not going to convince you of anything.

Someone said it this way.

Naïve realism is the intuitive sense that we see the world out there as it actually is, rather than as it appears from our own perspective. Actually, each of us views only a small slice of the world’s people, hears only haphazard bits of highly selected evidence from news outlets or other sources, and talks to only a narrow group of generally like-minded friends.

Me

When is the last time you had an argument with someone about some social issue or politics and someone said, “You’re right, I am changing my mind on that?” Like never? What can you learn from that?

Wednesday March 9- Not by Force

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Mark 14:42-45

Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.

Everyone knows when you are going through awful times in life, you don’t want to be alone. But, what if awful times keep getting worse?

Everything changes. The mood shifts. We see the makings of a tragedy. Not just for Jesus. For Peter.

Jesus prays for rescue three times. Jesus puts himself in God’s hands.

OK, Abba, thy will be done.

Three times Peter, Jesus’ right-hand man, will deny that he even knows him.

Jesus hears, No, to his prayers. Shouldn’t surprise us if we sometimes hear that, too. But, Jesus goes on. He appears back in charge again.

Let’s go guys. It’s time for some betraying.

The high priest and the chief priests get someone else to do their dirty work. They aren’t in the garden with Judas, but, they send the brute squad. A mob. Swords and clubs.

Nice going, guys. It’s always great when you mix violence with faith. Works out really well doesn’t it? Whenever faith leaders get guys with swords and clubs, or guns and backpack bombs, for that matter, to do their dirty work, they have already lost. Not much of a God if that’s what it takes to get someone to trust in him.  Sorry, we humans are not built that way.

Human beings are no longer human when they have no freedom. To trust in God is about the head and the heart. To be forced to say you trust through threat of violence is not trust at all. It is avoiding punishment.

Every one of us needs to figure this out. Avoiding punishment is not faith. The thing we do best to avoid punishment is tell lies. The opposite of trust.

OK Judas, time for the kiss.

Me

The next time you get perturbed about something, ask yourself, “Where is my feeling about this situation really about me?”

Tuesday March 8- No

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Mark 14:32-36

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.

When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 

Everyone knows when you are going through awful times in life, you don’t want to be alone. Jesus knows this. His best buddies, Peter, James, and John are with him.

Guys, I have never felt worse than I do right now. I don’t know if I can take it. Pray for me! Please!

Jesus is filled with the three D’s.

Depression.

Dejection.

Disillusionment.

Satan is already attacking him with all he’s got and Jesus has had enough.

This must have been an awful time for the disciples. Jesus is always in charge. He has his act together. It is almost embarrassing to see him act this way. Anguish and Jesus don’t go together, do they?

Jesus wants off of this salvation train. Rightfully so, he takes it to the Lord with prayer. But, he doesn’t seem to hear from his Father.

Even his dad is isn’t listening??

At least he has his best friends praying for him. He taught them all to pray, didn’t he? They know what to do.

So, Jesus goes back to his friends but they aren’t praying. They’re sleeping!

Come on Peter, you can’t do me this one thing. You can’t stay awake for an hour?

Jesus keeps praying and Abba, daddy, finally answers.

No.

Me

When you are feeling low, what do you do to feel better? Take a walk? Listen to music? A glass of wine? A hot bath? How about prayer along with it? Or prayer in a quiet place?

 

Monday March 7- Trust

Gratitude

Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.

Mark 14:26-31

Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.

Everyone knows when you are going through awful times in life, you don’t want to be alone. Jesus is testing this out for the rest of us.

First, Judas leaves the Last Supper.

Then Jesus and his friends finish up dinner and then go out singing, Are they going to look up at the stars, or are they going to look down at the lamps and great fires of the Temple? Is it going to be a campout on the Mt. of Olives? We don’t know yet.

Jesus says, “You guys,” the Bible predicts what is going to happen. “You are all going to dump me. But after I am raised from the dead, I’ll see y’all in Galilee.”

There goes a good Passover meal. Thanks for the encouragement Jesus.

Then his best friend speaks up.

They might desert you, but not me buddy! I’ve got your back!

No you don’t have my back, Peter, you are going to abandon me like everyone else. Worse, you’re going to deny you even know me.

What? You’re crazy, Jesus! I will die for you!

Every one of them said the same…

No way they will abandon their friend.

Me

Trust is the most important quality of a healthy relationship. What if you can’t trust anyone? Trust anyway. Who do you need to trust?