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Pastor’s Corner Rev. Carol Kress, pastor, Gladbrook United Methodist Church Gladbrook, Iowa

April 7, 2017
Northern-Sun Print
Good News with Lasting Results! Scripture: And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:1&2) Holy Week is upon us. Christians consider it to be the pinnacle of the year. There is no better time to read scripture, pray and worship. The music and poetry that has been composed in honor of the Holy Week is exceptionally great. The purpose of it all is to help each Christian deeply understand the role Christ plays in our salvation. Through it we are invited to make a stronger spiritual connection with him. Let’s look at the week. April 9th is known as Palm Sunday. Jesus passed through the city gates of Jerusalem riding a humble donkey. The people crowned him as the Messiah. They cried out “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” If you attend worship, you are likely to remember this parade by waving palm branches and celebrating children as they led the first procession. And at the Gladbrook UMC we will celebrate Confirmation day in line with all the faithful who still choose to be a disciple of Christ. However the excitement felt by the crowds at the parade faded. Opposition to the newly proclaimed Messiah grew from Scribes and Pharisees. As the Messiah, Jesus revealed a God who could have presented himself as a great King, sitting behind the walls of the castle and lording over all things. Rather, Jesus showed himself that discipleship means being a servant, a leader, and a friend. On April 13th, Holy Thursday, Jesus gathered with the disciples in the Upper Room. It was the Last Supper. Jesus gave new layers of meaning to this ritual and asked his followers to “do this in remembrance of me.” The Lord’s Supper is both a remembrance of the costly sacrifice of Jesus’ life and our deliverance through receiving gift he offers us. Many churches will gather to read the scriptures, sing the songs, pray the prayers and remember Christ’s great sacrifice. I encourage you to find out when your church is worshiping and to attend the Holy Thursday service. The Gladbrook UMC service will be held at 7:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Good Friday, April 14th, recalls that Jesus left the Upper Room and went to agonize in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was taken from there by his enemies and condemned to death. It’s a heart-breaking time for all who consider how Jesus was beaten, mocked, broken, and crowned with thorns. The soldiers forced him to carry his cross up Calvary where he was nailed to it. Suffering as he did, death did not come easily for Jesus. But ultimately he did die. The bonds of sin by which we suffer were finally broken. All of the churches in our ecumenical association will gather together twice on this sacred day. You can worship at 2:00 PM in the Westbrook Care Center or at 7:00 PM in the Garwin UMC sanctuary. And, of course, Easter Sunday, April 16th, is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. This day is the focal fact of Christianity. Jesus rose from the dead and revealed the life to come for those who persevere with him to the end. It’s time be joyful as we bask in the resurrection. At 7:00 AM, there will be a Sunrise Service at the Gladbrook UMC Church led by our community youth. Christ Lutheran will prepare breakfast. Please check with your local church to know if they have a special plan for the early morning service. But not much later the great services of worship will begin at regular times in all of our churches. Regardless of who, where or when, I pray will have an opportunity to give special time and attention to our Lord Jesus Christ this week. Might you realize the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ really is a message of good news containing pernament results!



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