Pastor’s Pen – April 2019

Written by Pastor's Pen - March 20, 2019 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

The Bible says that when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday he was greeted with cheering and shouts of praise. “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” The people were thrilled to see Jesus. They enthusiastically shouted their devotion.

But tragically, it was only a few days later that the people turned against Jesus. Disappointed that Jesus wasn’t the kind of king they were hoping for, the people’s cheers turned to jeers. Their shouts of “Hosanna” became cries of “Crucify!” Their enthusiasm didn’t last. Even Jesus’ closest followers began to fall away. The excitement of Palm Sunday wasn’t enough to sustain the crowd or the disciples as the events of Holy Week unfolded. By the time Good Friday arrived, Jesus had been abandoned by almost everyone.

I sometimes wonder if you and I, in our walk of faith, don’t go through something similar. Like the crowds and the disciples, we also experience disappointment. We have times of feeling let down. For us, however, the disappointment often comes not after Palm Sunday, but after Easter. I think that our Easter can be similar to what that first Palm Sunday was for the crowd and the disciples.

We believe, rightly, that Easter makes our lives different. The good news that Jesus is alive changes both us and our world. But what happens?  Easter comes and goes. Things don’t seem to have changed. Life goes on as it always has. Our problems, our worries, our heartaches remain. Easter seems to have made no difference at all.  Like the crowd and the disciples, we can experience a letdown. Life goes back to business as usual. The promise of Easter seems unfulfilled.

When that kind of letdown happens, I find one of the opening verses from the Gospel of John to be especially helpful. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The verse doesn’t say that the darkness is gone. It doesn’t say that those who put their trust in Jesus will never have to face darkness again. It says that the light shines in the darkness. The darkness is still present. But the darkness doesn’t have the power to extinguish the light.

One day, when Jesus returns in all his glory, the darkness will be gone. As we read in the book of Revelation, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more.” What a glorious day that will be! But in the meantime, we live in a world in which evil and darkness are still very real. Even on this side of Easter, darkness still enters our lives.

Because of the empty tomb, however, we can be sure that the darkness doesn’t have the last word. We can know that even in the darkness, the light that is Jesus continues to shine. We can face life’s struggles and disappointments with the assurance that Jesus is with us and that ultimately, he is victorious.

By keeping our eyes on the light, by trusting the promise that the light will never be extinguished, we can endure the world’s darkness. As people who have heard the good news of Easter, we live with the promise that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Easter blessings be with you!

Pastor Selbo

 

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