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“So again, Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:7-11 NRSV  

As we begin the month of April with all of the freshness of Spring and what feels like a relaxation of the anxieties around COVID-19 and the isolation that we have endured for the last year, we celebrate what are arguably the highest holy days of the Christian Calendar – the Passion of our Lord in Holy Week and his Resurrection on Easter.

On Palm Sunday we remembered together Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  We heard the children and the crowds calling out “Hosanna! Save Us!”. The people that heralded Jesus’ entry into the Holy City that day could not imagine all that Jesus had come to accomplish.  They had relatively small goals all wrapped up in their own temporal needs and inconveniences.  They cried out for Jesus to overthrow the occupying forces of Rome and fix their immediate needs.  They couldn’t comprehend the depth and breadth of Jesus mission. He had come to kill death and free all humanity from our bondage to sin.

Nearly two thousand years later I wonder if we have a clear idea of the mission of Jesus in this world and in our lives. How often do we relegate Jesus to a minor part in our lives and turn to God only as a last resort in desperate times of emergency?

This Holy Week, this Easter I pray that we might consider that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection accomplished far more than we can imagine. Among the gifts of God in Christ is a restoration of all that we have lost or squandered in sin!  Jesus said that his mission statement was that we might have life and this life abundant! Ask yourself as we journey here together – are you experiencing a life that is full and abundant that Jesus lived and died for? If so, tell your friends!  Invite them to come and experience this blessing too.  If not, perhaps we need to look again and consider what this thing called resurrection means for us, for the world.

Come and join us online for worship this Sunday morning at 9:00 A.M. for our Heritage worship service featuring our choir and familiar hymns, or at 11:00 A.M. for our new Contemporary worship featuring Nairobi Smith leading worship.  Both of these services will be available online through Facebook and YouTube. We’ll save you a seat!

Serving Christ with You, Pastor Bill Mudge

(updated 03-31-21)