Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Pastor’s Pen: Hide and Seek

Do you remember playing hide-and-seek as a child?  More than anything, I remember hiding in the most obscure places around my house hoping whoever was searching wouldn’t find me.

I wonder what it must have been like for Jesus’ followers when they went to his grave to find him and he wasn’t there.

“Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.  They didn’t know what to make of this.  Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing.  The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He isn’t here, but has been raised.’”  (Luke 24:1-6b)

The Bible tells us that Jesus is, in fact, alive!  If we continue reading Luke’s gospel, we find Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus alongside two of his disciples.  He later appeared to the eleven and their companions in Jerusalem.  He was flesh and blood, just as he was before the crucifixion.  Even doubting Thomas came to believe Jesus was alive after touching Jesus’ nail scarred hands and side.

The Easter experience is so enticing, Christians come out of the woodworks to be a part of the celebration.  Congregations nearly double in size on Easter Sunday because we’ve read about it, heard about it, and have experienced the risen Christ.  We all want to be a part of the body just like Paul said we should be;

“You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
(1 Corinthians 12:27).”  
It’s a glorious day for the church and for Christians everywhere.

Then comes the Sunday after Easter.  Pews seem almost empty.  Half of those who were here Easter Sunday stay home.  The hoopla surrounding Easter is gone.  It’s as if we need another resurrection.  It’s as if the body is no longer alive and Jesus went back into the tomb.

Don’t let that happen!  Come back to church this Sunday.  Let’s continue celebrating the fact that Christ is alive and well and living among us!  Let’s continue living into and being the risen body of Christ!

May God’s grace and peace give you strength,

Pastor Scott

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession.  You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of the darkness into his amazing light.” (1 Peter 2:9, CEB)

 



Lent Devotionals: Friday, April 14

The Light in the Darkness

 
 
Billy’s parents would put him to bed every night by kissing him on the forehead and telling him that they loved him. What Billy’s parents didn’t know is that Billy was afraid of the dark. When he would lay down and close his eyes his little heart would start racing and thoughts of monsters in his room would run through his head.
One night, when Billy’s mother was kissing his head, Billy said, “Mommy, I’m afraid monsters come in my room when you turn my light out.” His mother said; “Billy, what makes you think monsters come in your room?” Billy said, “They’re smart. They know that I can’t see them when it’s dark so they sneak in so they can get me.”
Darkness is, by definition, the absence of light. In darkness our vision is limited, if not non-existent. Without vision, we are unable to see what surrounds us, and that can be frightening. Just as Billy was afraid of the dark, I imagine Jesus’ disciples experienced an overwhelming sense of panic, perhaps terror, the moment he died on the cross:
It was now about
noon, and darkness covered the whole earth until about three o’clock, while the sun stopped shining. Then the curtain in the sanctuary tore down the middle. Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my life.” After he said this, he breathed for the last time. (Luke 23:44-46, CEB)
For the next three days, the world would be without the light of Christ.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. Churches all over the world will experience their highest worship attendance of the year. People will come to church wanting to feel good about the resurrected Jesus. But, in order to fully appreciate Easter, we have to go through Holy Week. We can’t dismiss Maundy Thursday. We can’t divorce ourselves of Good Friday.
The light cannot be fully understood without the darkness. The goodness of God cannot be fully appreciated without an awareness of evil.
As you journey through the myriad of emotions Holy Week brings; the companionship of Christ as you take Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday and the overwhelming sadness and of Christ’s suffering on Good Friday, don’t forget to live into the fullness of the joy Easter Sunday
brings.

Christ is the light that overwhelms the darkness. Because of this, we no longer need to be afraid of the dark. We can live into a new and restored relationship with our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Sustainer. Amen?

May God’s grace and peace give you strength,
Pastor Scott

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of the darkness into his amazing light.” (1 Peter 2:9, CEB)

Rev. Scott Goodfellow
Senior Pastor