The Hope of the Gospel

Even with Holy Week (the name we give to the week leading up to Easter) fast approaching, yesterday’s events in Nashville can’t help but derail our plans for celebration.  I invite you to pray for the school, the church, the community, the families of the victims and the family of the perpetrator.  While this issue is laden with all manner of political baggage, what cannot be politicized is God’s promise to show up in times of tragedy to bring healing and hope.  The same is true of our calling: we cannot politicize Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that His followers’ unity would reveal the Father’s love to the entire world.  May we be ‘islands of sanity’ that calmly and reasonably point toward the hope of the gospel in the midst of this chaos.

There is never a bad time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but events like this bring to the forefront our central need for salvation and hope.  Rather than lessening our desire to remember and celebrate the defeat of death, this Easter will be a time to lean in even more to the work of Christ on the cross and in the tomb.  That’s why I hope you will think about your neighbors this week.  Which of your neighbors is increasingly overwhelmed by the suffering in the world, the chaos of their lives or the pain they see around them?  Which of your neighbors needs to hear not just that Jesus died, but why Jesus died?  Who in your life needs to hear a message of hope, comfort and homecoming?  I hope you will begin praying for them even now, and consider bringing them with you on April 9th.  This is a time to be together and a time to hope together.  I can’t wait to see you and your friends! 

Don’t forget that we’ll observe Good Friday on April 7th at 6:30PM in a powerful service that invites us to reflect on the meaning of the cross.  We will also have 3 services on the 9th: Contemporary Worship at 11:00AM and Traditional Worship at 9:30AM and 11:00AM.