From Pastor Preuss…
“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
“Woman behold your son. Son, your mother.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“It is finished.”
“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Between the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we learn about what some believers refer to as “Jesus’ Seven Last Words.”
Of course they are not really his “last words,” because when he was raised from the dead on Easter morning, he had a great deal to say to his disciples in the forty days he spent with them before he ascended into heaven.
The truth is, it is because of Jesus’ resurrection that these words have taken on the importance that they have; because we understand that the resurrection is God’s own confirmation that Jesus’ word is God’s Word. So those Jesus loves, God loves. Those Jesus forgives, God forgives. Those Jesus promises a place with him in Paradise, to them God gives a place. Those Jesus calls to follow are actually receiving God’s call.
It is that same reality that makes the Season of Lent such a key season for God’s people. If we do not consider the purpose and meaning of Jesus’ suffering and death, there is no reason to celebrate Christmas (except to make merchants happy). Nor can Easter have any theological significance, because if Jesus had not offended the religious authorities with what he said and did in God’s Name, he would have died an old man. And he would not have been “the first born from the dead.”
I invite you to join with us for worship on Wednesdays in Lent. Worship services on Wednesdays will begin at 6:45 p.m., and will be preceded by a Soup Supper beginning at 5:45 p.m. Only on Ash Wednesday will we also offer an earlier worship service beginning at 10:30 a.m. That service will be followed by a Soup Luncheon.
Finally, I want to invite you to consider the significance of the fact that the Season of Lent this year begins on Valentine’s Day, and how the Seven Words that will be our focus, and the understanding of self-sacrifice that they reflect, might define the true meaning of love.