Graceline – From your Pastor

Holy Week and Easter

When was the last time you were severely reprimanded, disciplined for doing something wrong? In our culture, that seems to be a thing of the past. And I believe we will all suffer for it. I was a pretty good kid growing up, rarely ever getting into trouble. But the times I did stuck with me. Like the time I wore my new school tennis shoes out to play. Like most kids back then, we were given new tennis shoes in the fall for the new school year. They were to be for school only. But I really liked them, they were comfortable, they were cool. So to impress my best friend, Gary, I wore them out to play. We lived in the country and that was the day we decided to go exploring in the woods. As we made our way through the brush and the bramble, we crossed this little stream which was pretty wide but you could make it across by jumping and I made it… almost. My nice new sneaker and my right foot slid off back into the murky water and as the cold water of the Wisconsin stream flooded my foot, so did the impending sense of doom.

Did I mention they were bright WHITE sneakers? Well, our exploring was over. Squishing on every other step back to the house, I knew I didn’t dare tell my grandma. I knew she was going to be furious. So, I drew some water our of the well into a basin, got some soap and I scrubbed, and I scrubbed, and I scrubbed but the nice white was gone forever. Eventually, I had to tell her, and I did. I faced up to the consequences of my disobedience, took my spanking, and learned my lesson. Next time, I’ll try harder, and I’ll definitely make it across that stream…

I could hear the collective groans even as I am writing this. Obviously, that’s not the lesson we are suppose to learn. But think about how many times it’s closer to the truth than we are willing to admit. Think about how many times the nation of Israel had been delivered by God only to doubt his providence the next day. We have a hard time learning from our mistakes, from our sins. We need a constant reminder that we are inherently sinful people only saved by the grace of a merciful God. And that is why Lent, Holy Week, and Easter is so important. We need to be reminded that Jesus died on the cross because all our sin was placed on Him. And all of the visible reminders of our Promised Treasures theme of our Lenten Series helps us to remember. The dust and ash, salt, light, bread, palms, water and blood, wood, oil, and milk and honey are to remind us of what God has done for us and promises to continue to do.

Since Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden, our bright WHITE is gone forever. Original sin and darkness have been passed down from parents to children ever since. Did I say forever? Well, that not strictly true. Those that come to faith through hearing the Word and Baptism will put on Christ’s robe of righteousness and be washed WHITE in the Blood of the Lamb. That washing was done on the cross. And is available to all. And the Resurrection on Easter makes it eternal. Thanks be to God. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Pastor Al

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