I know this newsletter will come out near our celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the last newsletter, I focused on our celebration of Holy Week. Holy Week, through individual services, walks us liturgically (that is our central paschal story enacted through ritual) our great Christ pattern of death and resurrection. This is why it is so important to reflect on the words of the great hymn that Paul quotes as he writes to the Philippians: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”
What does it mean for us to be emptied out as the starting place for our spiritual growth? What does it mean for us not to grasp at power? Or try to exploit control and domination to empower our smallest self? How does the pattern of Holy Week, the great paschal mystery, become the pattern of my Christian life?
Because as we shift to our celebration of Easter, we complete the singing of this great early Christian hymn with God’s response to the walking of Jesus’ path where we walk the path of conscious loving. “Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Easter is not the day but the season we need to wrestle with and unpack the meaning and the purpose and the effect of the resurrection of Jesus by the power of God. The resurrection of Jesus the Christ is such good news it takes us seven weeks, including the Pentecost event, to totally fathom the effect the resurrection of Jesus has in our world. The power of the resurrection affirms the Jesus path of self-giving conscious love. This conscious loving is modeled in the foot washing on Maundy Thursday and interpreted in Philippians 2 by Paul of this great Christian hymn quoted in his writing to the Philippians.
God, in the resurrection of Jesus, is saying yes not only to the raising of Jesus from the dead but God is saying yes to the Jesus path, to Jesus’ teaching, Jesus’ servanthood, the reign of God as King revealed in Jesus, and yes even to Jesus’ death on the cross.
So, what are the aspects of Holy Week and Easter that have not touched your life? What parts of your life have you kept untouched by the radical message of new life found in the resurrected Jesus? How might this year cause you to experience a sense of new life in Christ?
Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog…Pastor Larry offers you an opportunity to read your way thru scriptures with him each day at his Bible Blog. The readings alternate between readings from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book. We start reading the book of Second Peter at the beginning of April from the Newer Testament. Then we will begin reading the Older Testament book of Isaiah on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/. Join us online.
Interim Pastor Larry Klinker’s Office Hours…Pastor Larry will be in the office on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon. You may reach him at 330-550-0077 or email him at email@example.com.