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April 7, 2021

Greetings.

Joe Kwiatkowski here writing this to you.  Around nine in the evening on Friday, February 26th, I presented my final project for my final course for the Certified Lay Speaker training.  That is the end of a story that lasted fourteen months.  It is also the beginning of another story; a story which I cannot yet tell, for I do not know what it is.  Pastor Nettie is giving me the opportunity to “hone my skills” for the next few weeks, so I will be writing these letters and preaching for the rest of April. Pastor Nettie will still be present and enjoy worship with us, but will focus on her current class requirements.

There is an interesting parallel in the Gospel stories which we look at during this season.  The followers and disciples of Christ have been living a story of travel, of miracles, of parables, of teaching.  And that story came to a tragic and abrupt end with the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.  Things would not be what they were before.  Three days later a new story surprisingly (and miraculously!) started with the discovery of an empty tomb and a Risen Savior.  And, again, things would not be what they were before.  Try to put yourself in the position of the followers of Christ.  We know “the rest of the story” because we have the rest of the New Testament.  They did not.  They are living a story they cannot tell, and cannot expect, for they do not know what it is.  We call that “uncertainty”.

Uncertainty.  Now there’s something we can understand.  We are in month number fourteen of a time of uncertainty unmatched in recent world history.  We share the hope of the world: “a feeling that what is wanted will happen”.  But for the followers of Christ, there is a stronger and more secure hope: “the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future.”  (Thanks to the Holman Bible Dictionary for those quotations.)

For the rest of the week, consider hope.  What are you hoping for?  Where are you looking for this hope?  “By his great mercy He has given us a new birth into a loving hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (I Peter 1:3)   We’ll talk more about the beginning of that second story on Sunday.  Have a good rest of the week.

Take care.  Be well.  Stay healthy.
Joe Kwiatkowski

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