Highlights for This Coming Week:
- Lenten Study Group starts February 19th at 7:00 p.m. It’s not too late to join, please email Rev. Katie to join at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Youth group is at 11:15 a.m. this Sunday.
- Start collecting for our Pigs on a Mission - We are raising money to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Pierce County. Bob Winslow the Advocacy Chair and Past President will be with us in worship to present about NAMI of Pierce County next Sunday.
- Sign up today for your spot at Bystander Training March 10th.
Greetings beloved church! I pray you had a great start to Lent so far. This year our Lenten theme is following in the ways of Jesus. This year Easter Sunday lands on April Fools Day. This is a day when people play practical jokes and pranks on each other. The victims are called April fools. Now for us as Christians, we believe that the greatest joke was played on the devil on Easter morning, when Jesus rose from the grave and defeated death on the cross. No one really can top that one. On Good Friday, the cosmic powers of evil, whether you call that Satan or the devil, thought that they had finally won. That they had killed God. But come Easter Sunday, God rose Jesus from the grave three days later.
Still to this day many people find that Christians are the ones who remain foolish for following a Savior who willingly suffered rejection, persecution and death out of love for the whole world.
What’s interesting is that a fool is defined as someone who acts unwisely or imprudently; just a silly person. According to the world standards, yes we are foolish people for our God is also foolish. Our God came to us in the form of a vulnerable baby, born in poverty, as a homeless child. God is always choosing what is weak in the world to discredit the powerful and proud, show them how twisted their priorities and values are. For God shows us that humility, nonviolence and love are the true way to abundant life in community.
Theologian Frederick Buechner defines a fool this way, “the wisdom of men is the kind of worldly wisdom that more or less all men have been living by since the caveman. It is best exemplified by such homely utterances as "you've got your own life to lead; business is business; charity begins at home; don't get involved; God helps those who help themselves; safety first; and so forth. Although this wisdom can lead on occasion to ruthlessness and indifference, it is by no means incompatible with Niceness…A man can be basically interested in nothing so much as feathering his own nest and still give generously to the Cancer Fund, be on the Board of Deacons, run for town office, and have a soft spot in his heart for children and animals. It is in contrast to all this that what St. Paul calls "the foolishness of God" looks so foolish.
Inspection stickers used to have printed on the back "Drive carefully- the life you save may be your own." That is the wisdom of men in a nutshell. What God says, on the other hand, is "The life you save is the life you lose." In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love's sake is a life worth living. To bring his point home, God shows a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of men's wisdom, he was a Perfect Fool, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without making something like the same kind of fool of himself is laboring under not a cross but a delusion. There are two kinds of fools in the world: damned fools and what St. Paul calls "fools for Christ's sake." (1 Corinthians 4:10)"
So this Lenten season we will look at what it means to be a fool for Jesus. Every Lent, we take 40 days to return to God. Making the needed corrections in our lives to get back to following Jesus in our lives. My prayers are with you as you journey to the cross with Jesus. We are not alone! He is with us every step of the way.
Rev. Katie Klosterman