Isn't it easy to get caught up in things? Some of us are caught up in March Madness, the phenomenon of the NCAA basketball championship tournament. I will admit to loving this tournament and I have, over the years, invested time and energy into watching both on TV and in person. Some are caught up in getting ready to see the Master's golf tournament, thinking that watching this beautiful setting is a sure sign of spring (I sure need that mental picture as I write this in my office, in a sweater I should not be wearing in Florida this time of year). Some are caught up in spring cleaning and getting their house ready for the influx of visitors who will surely be coming their way.
Pastors, on this week of the year, are caught up in preparation, prayer, details, writing, reading and thinking about one of the biggest weeks of the year. But as I run from task to task, I can't help but think about what Jesus was "caught up" in during that eventful week about 2,000 years ago. Sunday we talked about the triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) in which a city/nation (according to Jesus) had missed the chance to see their Messiah, enjoy His peace and receive a "visitation from God." That should convict us and challenge us this week.
Thursday we (as Jesus did) will experience the somber giving of the cup of the New Covenant in which Jesus presents Himself as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He does this at His expense (we should hear 'Jesus Paid it All' playing in the background of our minds). I hope you will come and receive the bread and the cup (the table is open to all who come in the name of the Lord) ... we have a few special surprises planned and I hope you will be there to allow God to stop your being 'caught up' so you can become captured by the Savior, His message and His call to "do this in remembrance of me." The service Thursday is called "Maundy Thursday" because Jesus mandated this as a time to remember what He had done, was doing and is still doing as He truly does "take away the sins of the world."
And I cannot even imagine what Jesus was experiencing on that first Easter morning. What is it like to be resurrected? What was it like to see the faces of friends and disciples who thought you were dead? I'll bet that it was an amazing experience to be caught up in that!
This Sunday I hope you will all come and be 'caught up' in Easter. The Church (that is all of us who believe in Jesus and are part of His called-out people) are called "Easter People" because every Sunday we worship God in the context of a 'little Easter.' Of all things we get 'caught up' in, Easter is worthy of our time, our interest, our attention, our giving, our singing, our fellowship and our passion. I pray God will bring you into the house of the Lord and let us, together, tell the old, old story that is as true today as it was when Jesus left the tomb. For in Him we find a Savior full of life, love and hope for a lost world. Hallelujah, He is Risen! Pastor Randy