Pastor's Page

May 2015

Words That Change Everything

The following is from God Allows U-Turns a story by Michelle Pearson

I didn't know Donna very well, but I wish I had. What I knew was that we belonged to the same church and our children attended the same day care. Like me she was a working mother with a schedule between home and work as busy as any CEO. Over a period of months, almost daily we passed each other dropping off or picking up children, but never got beyond hello. Then one day I heard that she was facing a battle with cancer. Our church family received regular updates from Donna about her health. Sometimes things sounded good, other times not. But through it all, though she wasn't feeling well, Donna looked happy. And that struck me. Once when I was dealing with severe pain, an issue with my back, it was Donna that went out of her way to check on me. As I shared my injury and pain, Donna nodded sympathetically. I know. She said. I get that kind of pain too. I think it's because my tumor is pressing on my spine." I marveled at her acceptance.

After a time of remission, Donna informed me the cancer had returned. Then she added, "But I have no worries." That surprised me. No worries? Before I could ask, Donna said, "Christ is risen. And I have faith." Her faith was unshakable, unwavering trust in God. I realized it was something I wanted as well. In the coming weeks we grew closer. Then I began to have an idea. I wanted to write a feature story for our local paper, an article about Donna and her amazing attitude. But when I asked her she said, "Oh I don't know. I'm really not very good at talking about myself. Besides, I'm terminal. Who would be interested in that?" "But not just that" I told her. What people really want to know is the source of inspiration and encouragement; they want to know the reason you have for saying, "I have no worries."

Here are three words we commonly hear: Grace, Faith, Hope. Faith and hope is what enabled Donna to more than just go through the motions in life. Although we may not always connect faith with the story of women going to the tomb on the first Easter, nevertheless they went. Never mind the darkness or the stone; it's hard to even imagine what was going through their heads. Their world had been turned upside down. Before their eyes Jesus had been arrested, condemned to death, violently and brutally treated and executed. They heard His last breath, and watched as His body was taken down and buried. Now three days later, it's dark and there's a stone . . . and yet they go.

But then they find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty! Even more startling the angel and his words, "Do not be afraid. You are looking for Jesus but He is not here; He is risen, just as He said." These words change everything. The joy that began that morning would fill their hearts and lives as they proclaimed the good news to others. The angel's words have changed everything for us too. Trouble (however it be named in your life) and also guilt and sin, all such things Christ has overcome. Jesus is risen! Your sin is gone! Death has been destroyed! Therefore don't stop looking into the empty tomb! And don't stop telling others what you have come to see.

Pastor Kelly Mitteis
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