Hard Questions at Easter

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Some questions are not easy to answer.

I write these words from my home town of Whittier, California.
While I was getting a haircut yesterday, my hair-cutter said to me, “There are a lot of homeless people in our town these days. More and more all the time.”

I had noticed this myself in recent visits. “Why is that?” I asked.

“Well, Whittier loves it’s homeless,” she said smiling. “And there is a church here that feeds them; so they come here.”

That was both sad and inspiring at the same time.

To bring this closer to home, an old friend is one of the homeless here in town. I have yet to bump into him as I walk about, but I brace myself for that painful moment. He was a part of our youth group and my old home church. Now he has no home. How does this happen?

On Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, we will explore a story with many unanswered questions.
A friend of Jesus became deathly ill and his family called upon Jesus for help. But this powerful healer, the one who had performed miracles for absolute strangers, did nothing. He ignored their cry for help. And their worst fears were realized.

Like us, they asked, “Why?”

This Easter season, we will explore this heart-wrenching story as well as our own stories. We will look back to the occasion that shook the faith of Jesus’ most faithful followers…and the stories that shook us just as badly.

God is the God of the final chapter. He is always faithful and the who have suffered most seem to know this best. But when you’re in the middle of something faith-shaking, you need some help remembering and believing in the power and goodness of God. This Easter, we will give you that.

So What? Now What?

As Holy Week approaches, I ask you to prepare your heart for both worship and witness. Here are a few pastoral suggestions I have to help you do so:

* Make space for solitude and reflections.
* Make a prayer list of hurting people and pray for them.
* Invite someone to worship with us on Easter Morning.
* Join us for Good Friday Service.
* Sign-up to serve where you can.
* Come to worship and witness.

Finally...

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

I do. I hope you do. But when it’s hard to struggle with hard questions, there is one good thing to remember: you don’t have to struggle alone. Come and worship with fellow-strugglers and watch God write the last chapter.