Good Friday and Easter
Dear Northway Church,
I would like to thank my wonderful church family for your outpouring of love and prayers over this past week and a half. The sudden passing of my mom was certainly a shock; however, your calls, notes, texts, meals and other practical ways of helping have been such a blessing during this difficult time. Our entire family has been overwhelmed by the many demonstrations of your love for my immediate family and for my parents. For many years it’s been clear to me that the Lord has given me the opportunity to pastor a great church. After this past week, I now know that I get to pastor the greatest church. Thank you again for all you’ve done and for the privilege of getting to serve at Northway.
I would also like to thank our incredible staff for helping in so many ways, both in the celebration service for my mom and for covering for me while I tended to numerous family matters. Phil Anderson, our Connections Pastor, graciously agreed to fill in for me this past Sunday, and Ryan Knapp, our College Pastor, will be preaching this coming Sunday, April 10.
The following Friday, April 15, I will be preaching at the Good Friday Night of Worship at 7pm. If you’re able, I hope you’ll plan to join us that evening. I’ll be looking at the crucifixion through the eyes of Simon of Cyrene. As far as I can recall, I’ve never preached a message on the (very few) texts we have about this particular individual. The Good Friday service is always a significant, powerful time of gathering in worship. I’m looking forward to being back with you that evening.
Then, for Easter weekend, I’ve entitled my message, “Almost.” On this Saturday night and Sunday morning, we’ll be looking at the story of Pontius Pilate. As I’ve studied the role he played on the Friday Jesus was crucified, I’ve come to this conclusion: It’s not that Pilate was necessarily a bad man; it’s that he was so close to being a great man. We’ve often vilified Pilate, placing him in the same category as Hitler, Stalin, and other evil men of history. However, when you look at the conversations he had with Jesus and the decisions he wanted to make, it’s clear that he wasn’t against Jesus at all. In fact, he was somewhat for Jesus, just not quite enough. He was almost there, almost saved, and almost found eternal life. Almost.
How many people in our culture almost know Jesus? How many almost find salvation and eternal life? How many are almost new creations? Yet, we know that almost isn’t enough, which is exactly what we see in the story of Pilate.
I’m looking forward to the events of Easter weekend and the opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with my church family. As a reminder, if you’re able to attend on Saturday evening, please do so. This will allow for more room on Sunday as we welcome and expect many who are not regular worshippers at Northway to attend.
Once again, I cannot thank you enough for all you’ve done for me and my family over these past very difficult days. I’m so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church.