When the realm of “God” breaks into our time/space existence the universal response is fear. Angels show up—fear. The Spirit moves—fear.
William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article “Fearing God” in Christianity Today:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
On that first Easter, the disciples found Jesus’ tomb empty. Sitting where Jesus’ body should have been lying was a young man, an angel if you will. His message would ultimately bring joy and new life, but first it struck deep fear. And with that, the Gospel of Mark ends. But that can’t be! There were immediately attempts to explain the inexplicable ending. The last verses must have been lost. Anonymous writers fabricated alternative endings, the most prominent of which is included in our Bibles.
Personally, I am overwhelmed by the genius of ending the gospel with fear, and in effect challenging me to write my gospel ending. We know from the Book of Acts that the disciples experienced the most radical spiritual awakening imaginable and their lives became the most compelling evidence that Jesus was alive, although an explanation of what that means always falls short of what that means. Now, as I come to Easter 2017, the Spirit asks what my ending to the gospel message is going to be…
Mark 16:1-8 :
After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus. Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” (It was very large stone.) Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe—and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
See you Sunday. Here’s what I have on my desk…
SUNDAY, APRIL 30TH, IN BETWEEN SERVICES, AT 9:45 AM, WE WILL BE HOLDING OUR CONGREGATIONAL MEETING TO ELECT NEW DEACONS AND ELDERS. Nominees are as follows:
Deacons: Kymry Borkenhagen, Kathy Hicks, Jean McQuady, Melba Newman, Janine Tomassi, Tony Tomassi
Elders: Gary Claeys, Ron Moser, Laura Zimmerman
Coming soon—- biographies and pictures of the nominees in the glass-covered bulletin boards in the Narthex.
YOUNG LIFE IS LOOKING FOR ADULTS WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE “TWEEBS!” ON MONDAY, MAY 1ST! A “tweeb” is a person who is “planted” in a public establishment enjoying themselves between 7:00-8:45 PM on the evening of May 1st. (Possible places are— Baskin Robbins, a gas station, the post office, local restaurants and many more!). The teenagers from Young Life are split up into groups with an adult driver. They are given clues and drive around downtown Sonoma trying to find as many “tweebs” as they can in the shortest time period. The “tweebs” give out tokens to the youth who find them, and the group with the most tokens wins! Questions, or to sign up, please contact Jean McQuady: [email protected] or Diana Booker-Spry: [email protected]
THE CARRTUNES ARE COMING TO ST. ANDREW!
Join us on Saturday evening, April 29th, 5:00 to 8:00 PM, for a great night of music performed by The Carrtunes. For those of you who would like to join us for a fun, appetizer party ($25 per couple/$15 per person), come at 5:00 PM! Three members of our own church are in this musical group. Bring a friend and let’s fill the house to support them and the youth group! A free-will offering will be taken to support our Youth Group’s Summer Mission Trip to San Diego—Caravan 2017.
CHILDREN, PARENTS AND VOLUNTEERS—REGISTRATION HAS BEGUN!
NEW & EXCITING PLANS ARE BEING MADE FOR OUR VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL & ARTS CAMP!
June 26TH through 30TH:
9:00 AM-11:30 AM: Maker Fun Factory Vacation Bible School: $35.00
11:30 AM-2:00 PM: Music Maker Arts Camp: $35.00 (includes lunch)
Register now at www.andrewpres.org