What a mess!


This morning in chapel at St. John I thought it would be fun to take all the palm branches left over from Palm Sunday and strewn them all down the aisles.  It was a huge mess.  I would say it might have been the biggest mess you can make in Church.  In fact I was pretty sure after chapel the janitor would no longer be speaking to me with kind words.  Kids walked in and were shocked by the mess on the floors. It was a glories mess. (By the way as a youth leader making a mess is what I do)

I had them read with me Mark 11:1-11. It is my favorite version of the story of Jesus being called king.  In this text, Jesus rides his donkey into Jerusalem and the people were excited that this might be the next king to rule. They are excited because they thought he would come and kick out the romans and rule the world again.  Jesus walks into the temple and does nothing.  He just walks back out.  I would say all the people who are holding those palm branches just dropped them on the floor.  He wasn’t the king they expected, but He is a king and he would show them how he would clean up their mess they had in their lives.

I proceeded to share with the kids and staff about the mess we all live with. My family can make some big messes.  Please don’t ever plan on just dropping in because if you do you will see a mess.  If you give me some time I can clean up some and make it look like my house is clean.  In fact I say to my wife and kids.  The trick is make it look good but not too good so they don’t know we worked for a couple hours making it look clean. You see I think many of us have a mess in our lives we pretend isn’t really there, or we spend a lot of time making clean ups look like we have it all together.  But here is the thing we are a mess.

This week is Holy week.  It is the week Jesus shares with us that he isn’t here as some great king to conquer the world but here to clean up our mess.  He shows us his love Thursday through being a servant, then he continues that service on Friday to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross to clean up our mess.  He rose again Sunday to keep His promise of new life in Him.

If you haven’t been in worship in awhile I would encourage you to join the Church any Church these next four days.  Come and see all He did for us. It wasn’t necessarily what we expected and certainly is more than just a quick cleaning.  Jesus has come and rose again to bring new life and clean up the mess that is our life.

Thank you Jesus for your love and grace.

(By the way we did clean up the sanctuary today, and the janitor is still speaking to me…)



The begining of the journey…Hosanna


The beginning of a journey is sometimes the most interesting part. Last Sunday morning we saw a pretty amazing storm run through Big Rapids Michigan. Trees were all over and the power was out for many people.   When I made it to church early Sunday morning we had no power and no heat.  It was going to be an interesting beginning to our journey of holy week.  Yet 56 people came to celebrate Palm Sunday.  I was amazed by the willingness of people who had no power and probably more important for many no coffee, make it to worship.  As a staff we gathered at Church and wondered what we should do.  We felt that when people came we should worship. So we got up there and did it.  The light was shining in for the beginning of the service but mid way through clouds came rolling back in and you could hardly see. Pastor mid sermon had to get a light just to read from the scripture for the message. It has to be the first time I have ever seen anything like it.  It was amazing and probably one of the most profound worship services I have every been to.  (By the way at late service we had power which made doing the songs and screens we had planned for that service much easier.)

Holy week for a church worker is always busy and hectic, however it is one of my favorite times of year.  I love the way our worship service really lasts all week.  It is a continuation of the story.  Palm Sunday is the beginning with our king coming to fulfill what he was meant to do.  He was meant to be the Messiah who has come to save us.  While sitting in the dark I was struck by how amazing it is that we have a God who loved us enough to come in our dark place and be our Messiah.  As we shout hosanna, God save us, I am reminded of our need for that savior Jesus.  For six weeks we have waited.  We have gone through lent and examined the destruction of sin.  We have seen the “storms” come upon us.  Sunday we examined the real reason Jesus came. He came to save us.  He came as a servant who will give himself freely on our behalf.  The one who calmed the storm, cast our demons and raised the dead has come to bring us hope in our storm.

This week as you enjoy the journey.  As you spent time with Jesus on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday may you be reminded of the reason the king came to Jerusalem.  Not to be crowned the great king but to be the great servant king.  May we remember that even in our dark places Jesus has come to save us.  And to that we shout hosanna!! God save us! Enjoy the journey my friends.