A Message From Pastor Bob:
Well, these are not really leftovers, but a few more comments on a Lenten theme. We often wonder why people got so mad at Jesus, especially when he offered the powerful gift of forgiveness to the sad and rejected. Even church leaders were deeply bothered by this. But why?
Jesus was moving in on their turf. He was getting too big for his britches. You see, the church leaders were in the forgiveness business. They had a tidy monopoly on this gig. To be forgiven, you had to follow their rules, rules that described how one must go to the synagogue at the right time, bring or buy the proper animal for sacrifice, and then follow the priest’s instructions. No one could simply say, “You’re forgiven.” There’s a certain time, place, and price for forgiveness, and it’s been this way for eons! So what was Jesus doing? He was rejecting long-held Jewish laws. But the real problem was that the ego and finances of the church leaders were getting hit hard. Status and security; those were the real issues. So the church leaders convinced their followers that Jesus was destroying their Jewish identity and garnering power for himself. Jesus was anti-God, they said.
Truth is, that is why we still reject God and struggle with following Jesus. Our status and security are at risk if we let someone else – even the Son of God – rule our lives. We are skeptical when we hear what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-20: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
We don’t want to admit that we need help or rest. We want a god that makes life free and easy, or at religion that fools us into believing we can fly solo, that our independence and strength are limitless and indestructible. We don’t want any kind of burden or yoke. We’re Americans!
First and foremost, we are humans – beautiful, incredible, flawed, and self-centered humans. But we are humans that are called to follow an inhuman, other-worldly leader called Jesus. Jesus redefines our status and security. He allows us to have the status of FORGIVEN and security in FREEDOM. Such forgiveness and freedom cannot be granted by anyone else because they’re just like us – sinful and selfish.
Let’s be mindful of these words by the late Rich Mullins, from his song “Step By Step.”
Oh, God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you! I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways, and step by step you'll lead me and I will follow you all of my days!
The yokes and burdens offered by the world lead us into obscurity and loneliness. The yoke and burden of Christ leads us to daily forgiveness and freedom, and into community with others and with our Lord and Maker, Jesus Christ.
In what or whom do you find status and security? In the powers of this world or in the Prince of Peace? We must decide daily, and rejoice in being able to share that with peace with others who are as tired and burdened and lonely as we have been.
Christ is risen, and offers us abundant life now and forever. Amen!
Love ya bunches,
JOIN US IN PERSON at the church!!!! Worship with Holy Communion Sundays at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.; Thursdays at 11:00 a.m.
MASKS ARE OPTIONAL
Current Service times: Masks optional - Fellowship time between services
Sundays @ 8:30 a.m. - In-person; Livestreamed on Facebook and Radio AM880
Sundays @ 10:00 a.m. - In-person
Thursdays @ 11:00 a.m. - In-person
CONFIRMATION SUNDAY - 10 a.m. Worship on May 8 (streaming on PLC Facebook Live)
GRADUATING SENIOR RECOGNITION - 10 a.m. on March 15 (streaming on PLC Facebook Live)
PICNIC: Sunday May 22 – End of School Year Church Wide Picnic 11:00 after 2nd Service. Join us for a Potlock Lunch, face painting, horse rides, popcorn & family friendly games! Please bring a dish to pass and your lawn chair. Note: Sunday School will take place during 2nd service this day!
This is the last day of Sunday School