The great mythical bird “Phoenix”, or one like it is found in most cultures of the world. Large and colorful, it is a symbol of death and resurrection because, at death it goes down in a flame of glory, burns to ash and rises again to new life from the ashes. What a marvelous metaphor for the good news of the gospel! Jesus’ earthly ministry goes down in a blaze of glory with the crucifixion on Good Friday, but Jesus rises magnificently on Easter-having conquered death itself. Good news out of bad! A new beginning out of an ending! New life emerging from a tomb! Our living Lord is victorious over those who plotted and carried out his execution.
Too often we hear bad news. Too often we experience endings and our hearts ache. Too often, we grieve our losses. Too often, victory seems no more than a fantasy. This year as we’ve journeyed through Lent we’ve been looking for where Phoenix is rising from the ashes of our very human failings and where God gifts us with grace and new beginnings. As we draw near to Easter, we draw near to the greatest story ever told. But even better: as we draw near to Easter, we draw near to the greatest event in human history. The mighty power of God’s love raised Jesus from the dead! And this mighty power of God’s love has been let loose in our world through the ministry of the church. Thanks be to God for the gift of a mighty love that even now is bringing good news out of bad, new beginnings, new life and even victory over the powers that would rob us of abundant life. Thanks be to God for the gift of Holy Week and Easter!
Please! Don’t miss out on the blessings! Join us for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter!
Palm Sunday: 8:00 am and 9:30 – “Phoenix Rising: Out of Oppressive Rule”
Maundy Thursday: 6:15 in Fellowship Hall: Share in a supper reminiscent of Jesus’ last supper
7:30 also in fellowship hall: Holy Communion
Good Friday: 7:30 – Worship with a dramatic telling of the crucifixion story and reflection on “Phoenix Rising: Out of Chaos and destruction”
Easter Sunday: 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 Worship, “Phoenix Rising: Into Life Abundant!”
Have a Blessed Easter
Pastor Penny Gadzini