It's all you hear on the national news. The disappearance of Malaysia flight 370 is truly a mystery. What happened? Where did it go? What happened to the people on board? Those are logical questions to ask. If a family member of yours was on that flight, you would anxiously watch the news. Maybe the mystery of flight 370 will be solved by the time you read this newsletter.
There is another mystery in the Christian faith. We will concentrate on the big mystery of Jesus' resurrection. How did a dead man come alive after spending parts of three days dead in a tomb? How did Jesus rise after his bruised, beaten, and dead body was quickly buried by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus? How do you explain this mystery?
The simple answer is - you don't. We take God at His Word and believe the Easter miracle. Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus rose again. Our Christian faith rests on these facts. But what facts they are! Jesus' resurrection means everything to us! His resurrection unlocks the mystery of forgiveness. "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justi-fication" (Romans 4:25). His resurrection unlocks the mys-tery of Jesus' identity. "(Jesus) was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Jesus' resurrection unlocks the mystery of our eternal destiny. "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19).
When we say it "unlocks" these mysteries it doesn't mean that we will understand all of these truths. It means that Jesus' resurrection is the "key" to all of them. We'll never unravel the Easter miracles but it means everything to us.
I wasn't much of an athlete when I was younger. Mostly it was because I just didn't like to practice. I wanted to get right to the games. The one sport that I played and was actually decent at was soccer. No I still didn't like practicing. It just seemed so boring: ball handling skills, endurance training, blocking and "interception" drills. But of course the more we practiced the more I saw the reason for going back to the fundamentals of the game. I got faster, better, and was able to help out the team. Fundamentals aren't bad because they are what everything else is built off of.
What does practice have to do with anything? Well during Lent we do something very similar. Traditionally Lent is a season of us going back to the fundamentals of our faith. For the six weeks of Lent we are called to look to our baptism and remember what that means to us: that we have been saved; washed and purified through the waters of baptism and made into followers of Christ. And along with that goes the obvious reaction: "Repent!" As Christians we are called to look at the sins in our lives and turn away from those temptations. Yes this is something that we should do every day as Christians, but it's a great idea to have the 40 days of Lent too specifically focus on the beginning of faith. We remember about our redemption won for us by Jesus' suffering and death. Let's use the time given to us this Lent to return and train on the fundamentals of our faith. "...we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:13-14)
J.A.M. stands for Jesus in the Afternoon for Me. J.A.M. is a Wednesday after-school program for children in grades 1-5. All are welcome to attend especially those who do not have a church home or Sunday school.
Children gather in St. Paul's fellowship hall after arriving from their school (they can get shuttled by bus from their school to St. Paul’s--Ask your child’s bus driver for details). The sessions begin with a snack, free time (games), a Bible lesson (beginning around 3:50), singing and craft. Children are to be picked up at 5:00 p.m. You can register your child when you bring them or by clicking the link below to our online registration form.
J.A.M. is FREE and a fun way for your child to learn valuable lessons for life and bring them closer to God.
For more information click on the link below to the J.A.M. handbook or call St. Paul's church and school office 783-2552 extension 0.