Pastor’s Pen 12th April 2020

Shalom. Remember that God is still in sovereign and nothing catches him by surprise.
Well, two weeks in and it might be that we are seeing success in dampening the effects of COVID-19 transmission in our country. I pray we are. This doesn’t mean that we can relax our social distance, living in our bubble and always remembering to wash our hands.
This week is Passion week… Jesus knew how the week would end… Matt 26:2…
“As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Passover is on Wednesday night. Today is Tuesday… I wonder what sort of a day it was like for Jesus? Was he was stressed? I would have been.
Was he grumpy? Maybe?
Was he was content… I think he was, but I’m not sure if he was happy.
Scripture doesn’t really tell us, but we do know that by and large the disciples hadn’t really got it.
I am certain that come sunset Friday they had. By then, Jesus was dead and buried, in a borrowed tomb, behind a boulder guarded by Roman soldiers who, quite probably, were involved in his arrest on Wednesday.
Looking back, the disciples did work it out, preached about it and lived a different life, hindsight is wonderful like that.
But that week… I don’t think they really knew how different things would be by Friday. Let alone the next week.

I think it was a bit like that for the world with this COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we had no idea how different things could look in a week. Some could see the writing on the wall. Epidemiologists telling us doom and gloom… the extremes were dismissed by many, and by and large most people didn’t really grasp what was about to hit us… and still is. In NZ / Aotearoa we are still very blessed with the way we’ve been impacted by the virus. Sure, the economic ramifications are being felt and will be for awhile, the social isolation is obvious, but by and large we seem to have escaped the exponential growth experience of China, Italy, Spain, Iran and the USA and the accompanying death toll.
We don’t really know how this will end, how long it will go for and what the new normal will be like. But we can take comfort from the truth that Jesus is still alive and with us.
I feel for the disciples, maybe they thought everything was under control, life was good, Jesus was becoming more popular and it seemed more were beginning to realize what they had… he was the Messiah. I mean Sunday was amazing… riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, celebrated by thousands calling out Hosanna to the Son of David…
But then 3 days later…
Arrest, beating, crucifixion and entombed…
It was over… he was dead.

But then 3 days later…

This week is opportunity for each of us to consider what needs to change in our life, in our bubble? What do we need to let go of? What needs to die?
Whatever it is… leave it at the cross on Friday… it’s a good day to.
Because 3 days later… but that’s another story.
We need to remember Friday to appreciate Sunday.
I hope you enjoy his week.

Pastor Mike