Dear friends,Scott Fitzgerald said that the test of genius is to hold two opposing thoughts in your head at the same time, and not go crazy.
Try it: I’m grateful (for this week of beautiful weather) — but I’m worried (about the state of our country).
Or: I’m tired (my week has been a busy one), but I’m excited (to see my friends at church on Sunday.)
Wait a minute… maybe life is always a little like this! Maybe we always hold different feelings alongside one another, like moods in a musical composition. And religion, if it’s worth anything, should speak to all of what we go through — our highs and our lows.
That’s why I find these two particular weeks in the Christian calendar so meaningful. On Palm Sunday, we get all the excitement of a big parade as Jesus enters Jerusalem. And yet, that very same week, we watch the political powers that be dash all that hope and promise, like a steam shovel uprooting a garden bed. Our Christian story dares to reach into the very bottom of the abyss, as with Jesus we ask God: “Why have you forsaken me?”
And then, on Easter morning, we dare to contradict that emptiness. We dare to hope and reach upwards, and put our best selves forward, in spite of all the signs to the contrary! We celebrate the truth that in the resurrected Christ, love gets the last word.
And here’s the thing about Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter.
To fully appreciate the final stop, you have go along for the whole ride!
I truly believe that in the peaks and valleys of these two weeks, there is no part of the human experience that God does not touch. So whatever you are going through at the moment, whichever opposing thoughts you are holding inside your self, know that there is a place in this story for you.
And join us…this Sunday for Soul Sparks and Palm Sunday worship, on Good Friday as part of a joint service at College Heights UCC, and next Sunday morning as we gather bright and early to shout, “Hallelujah! He is risen!” Details about all of these services can be found inside your newsletter.
I would love to know which part of the story speaks the most to you this year. It’s amazing what can happen in two powerful weeks.
Rev. Nate Klug
Soul Sparks: A Lenten Study Group
What is Lent? What meaning does it have for us today? As we move through this unique season of turning back to God, join Rev. Nate Klug to talk about themes and controversies sparked by that week’s Scripture text. Sessions will be held at First Church, right before Community Sunday worship.
Sunday, April 9: 3:30 – 4:40 pm.
Politics, power, and faith. We walk through Jesus’
encounters with politicians and crowds in Matthew 26-27.