A Reminder and a Word of Gratitude

Hey Anthem,

I wanted to provide you with a reminder and a thank you this evening. Let’s get the nuts and bolts out of the way first:

A brief reminder that, as always, the church offices are closed the week after Easter (Monday, April 10 - Saturday, April 15). You may see the staff working and posting in the background during this time, but we (Andrew, Paden, Nathaniel, and Joel) are off for the week. As always, you can reach the elders in case of emergency (elders@anthemchurch.net). Gatherings will resume normally on Sunday, April 16.

In addition, I (Pastor Andrew) will be out of town Friday, April 14 - Saturday, April 22. I will be back to work, phone/email, and preaching on Sunday, April 23. Pastor John will be preaching a stand-alone sermon on Sunday, April 16.


And now for a word of thanks.

Personally, I’ve always struggled a bit with Holy Week. Theologically and spiritually, I never miss its significance: the historical events we remember and celebrate during this week are the very hope around which our faith orbits. With no Holy Week, there is no gospel, and with no gospel, we are indeed dead, lost, and hopeless. I carry this in my heart every year, allowing it to cement me to the truest things as we plan and prepare for Good Friday and Easter.

It’s just this, however, the planning and preparing, that often take me off-track. I often don’t feel joy leading up to Easter, instead I feel anxiety and pressure. I get so lost in the details of executing gatherings and planning that I lose a lot of the wonder of the season. This is my own fault, and no one else’s; it is certainly not that the truth is lacking in any way. I allow the cares of planning for worship to smother my own worship. Oh, how strange and unpredictable our hearts can be.

However, I’ve seen enough Easters as a minister of the gospel to know this: on the other side of the event, my heart is always full to the brim. I (like many of you!) am tired after a full weekend, but I am exceedingly grateful. I am grateful for a number of reasons, but the one that always comes back is this: without the church, I am still a new creation in Christ, but without the church, my joy as that new creation is completely lacking. I need you, each of you, and as we share in our Lord’s victory each year, we inch closer to the perfect union we will all one day taste in eternity with God. Easter is never perfect, but it is a small taste of heaven, and for that, my soul is grateful. Thank you for serving, for participating, and for attending. It all matters; it is an act of celebration and an act of warfare against our enemy.

I love you all so much. I speak for all of the elders when I say that it is a privilege and an honor to pastor you. I pray that today’s worship has an echoing effect in your life and does not terminate tomorrow morning. The word of God is unbound, church, and you are called forth in power, peace, and participation to the joy of God.

In Christ,

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