4-25-2019 – e-News

This past Thursday evening, our church hosted a Worship Gathering to honor and remember Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. While the adults gathered in the sanctuary, our kiddos came together for an experience of their own.
As soon as they walked into the KiX Building, our 1st through 5th graders knew something was different. Their typical Wednesday night carpet square circle had been replaced by two long tables, dressed in purple tablecloths and speckled with tea lights. Kids came in and took a seat and immediately berated me with questions:
“Why are there tables?” “What are we doing tonight?” “Why do you have bread?” “Why is the room different?” “Are we still going to have a snack?”
A few minutes after 7 p.m., we dimmed the lights and started our time together. I reminded my friends that we’d be celebrating Easter in only a matter of days and told them how, tonight, we’d be taking a break from our typical Club KiX lesson to learn about what happened in the final hours leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
I asked them to put on their listening ears and to use their imagination to try and bring the words I was reading out of the Bible storybook to life in their minds. I reminded them that, unlike other storybooks, these words were all true – these stories actually happened.
For the next 40 minutes or so, I had the pleasure of watching the Bible come to life for our kids, serving hunks of bread and cups of grape juice for the Lord’s Supper and recounting the Easter weekend narrative. At one point, a first grader looked at me wide eyed with wonder and said, “Is this the only time in our lives we’ll ever get to do something like this?”
I love having the opportunity, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring the Bible to life for our kids. But the opposite is also true – they bring Scripture to life for me.
At one point in the evening, I explained how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and what a truly gross job that was. Their eyes grew wide with sheepish delight as they exclaimed, “They stepped in animal poop!” and “Feet really stink!” I offered to wash their hands or feet with a baby wipe in honor of what Jesus did for his disciples. I was pleasantly surprised that most of our 20+ kids wanted me to do this for them. “I’m doing this because I love you,” I told each child, “and Jesus loves you, too.” (Don’t worry – even the kids who opted out were reminded they were loved.)
As I crawled on my hands and knees from child to child, I found myself uncomfortable with the hard surface of the floor beneath me. Just when I’d get used to my awkward posture with one child, I’d finish up and move to the next.
I think that’s a detail of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet we miss. Yes, we remember that their feet were dirty. Yes, we remember how unusual it was and humbling it must have been for all involved. But we don’t always think about what it must have been like for Jesus to crawl around on the floor – a floor I’m certain wouldn’t live up to our modern standards of cleanliness and wasn’t covered in plush carpet or smooth linoleum. Jesus experienced discomfort – albeit at a smaller scale – several hours before he climbed up on that cross.
And Christ’s ministry as a whole was filled with discomfort. A vagabond of sorts, he relied on the hospitality of others to find a place to rest in the evening. When he taught, reactions varied from swarms of people literally following him everywhere he went to people trying to run him out of town. He was surrounded by fickle friends, judgmental religious leaders, and people so desperate to catch sight of him, they’d climb up a tree or grasp for his robe.
Jesus’ life wasn’t comfortable – but it didn’t stop him from doing what he came to do. The discomforts we face aren’t every easy – but they pale in comparison to the good that awaits us in heaven. As the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
I’m so grateful that on that otherwise ordinary Thursday evening, I was reminded of this extraordinary truth. May your eyes be so filled with wonder at what God has done and continues to do that you ask, “Is this the only time in our lives we’ll ever get to do something like this?” And then, may you celebrate that we worship a God who delights in revealing his truths to us in new ways – not just once, but all the days of our lives.
Pastor Chelsea
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