April 02, 2021
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Really? All things? I can’t do all things. I can’t do a gymnastics routine or fly a helicopter or cure cancer or COVID-19 or ride a bicycle across the country. Maybe I could learn to do some of those things, but there are countless other things I just can’t do. I used to think that if I juggled enough tasks or managed my time correctly, I could do a million things or all things in a day or a week. But now I know I just can’t do that. At least I can’t even try to do that and stay well.
Of course, that’s not what the Apostle Paul means in Philippians 4:13. He means that with the strength of Christ in our hearts and lives, with Christ by our sides, we can make it through anything. We CAN do things we’re called to do that we never thought we could do, like make it through seminary or write sermons every week or be with people when a loved one is dying or turn our lives around. Allowing Christ’s love and power to strengthen us makes things possible.
Good Friday reminds us, though, that Jesus could and did do all things. He healed the incurable, taught and embraced the outcasts, suffered as we suffer, endured an unimaginable death, and showed us by his sacrifice that new life is possible for us, even us.
Maybe I can’t do all things, but I can walk this day with Christ all the way to the cross, to the tomb and to the day of waiting for what happens next. And I will remember that staying close to the love, hope, presence and power of Christ does strengthen me, more than I even know.
Prayer: Holy One, strengthen us this day as we walk with Jesus to the cross, where we see again his love poured out for your people. Help us strengthen one another, our community and country and our world. You do make things possible for us, through Jesus. Amen.
P.S. Almost a month ago I got my second COVID-19 vaccine. When the opportunity came for pastors to sign up to be vaccinated, I did so. While I had some aches and fatigue after both shots, I’m very grateful that I was able to get them. I intend to continue to wear a mask and distance in public for the foreseeable future so that I can continue to protect others, especially (but not only) our daughter who is going through cancer treatment. If there is even the smallest chance of transmitting disease to her, I will do all the things I can to keep her (and other vulnerable people) safe.
- 7 p.m. recorded service – “The Way of the Cross.” Walk our church’s meditation garden’s “Way of the Cross,” narrated and led by our confirmation class. Includes poetry from the work of the late Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk and drawings by Rev. Amy Barron Gafford, as well as music to guide us in this time of reflection on this somber day. Join us on any of our three online platforms to attend.
- 6:30 a.m. With messages from our graduating seniors, plus leadership from other youth, along with music and Holy Communion and a message by Pastor Sharon.
- 9:45 a.m. A service of music, message by Pastor Sharon, children’s time, prayer and the celebration of Holy Communion.