Every year thousands of people climb a mountain in the Italian Alps, passing the “stations of the cross” to stand at an outdoor crucifix. One tourist noticed a little trail that led beyond the cross. He fought through the rough thicket and, to his surprise, came upon another shrine, a shrine that symbolized the empty tomb. It was neglected. The brush had grown up around it. Almost everyone had gone as far as the cross, but there they stopped.

Far too many have gotten to the cross and have known the despair and the heartbreak. Far too few have moved beyond the cross to find the real message of Easter. That is the message of the empty tomb. (Lavon Brown)

 

I find this story meaningful . . . for 2 reasons. I think it shows the power of the cross – the despair that so many have felt on that day and still today. A lot of people live with despair and hopelessness.

But, the story also points us to the power of the empty tomb. On that day, so long ago, the empty tomb wrote a different ending to the story of despair. It didn’t end at the cross. And despair and hopelessness were no longer the final word – then and now.

In our 5:00 & 9:30 services, we’ll hear the story of Judas (Matthew 27:1-5) and imagine how things could have been different for him. If only he could have held on a few more days, if only he could have gotten to the empty tomb, could the story of his life been different?

In our 11:00 service, we’ll celebrate the Baptism and Confirmation of 17 young people. The scripture focus will be Luke 6:12-16, the call of the 12 disciples. In that crew of 12 were Thomas (who doubted), Peter (who stumbled), and Judas (who gave up). As we grow in our faith, may even the imperfect witness of those who went before guide us on our faith journey.

 

 Pastor Kathy

 

May 5th at Noon in the Sanctuary. Learn about our new Hearing Loop. The installer of the loop and an audiologist will be here to assist you with your hearing device. And, even if you don’t have a hearing device, but just want to hear better, our guest will have information to help you.

May 4th Walk at Sugar Grove ~ postponed until a later date.

This Week in Worship – May 4 & 5, 2019