An Easter Like No Other

When we look back on all the Easters we’ve experienced, Easter 2020 will definitely be one of the most memorable. Not because of the celebrations, the potluck brunch, the choir cantata or the children’s Easter Egg hunts, but because of the absence of these activities.  We will do everything differently this year and it will feel strange. But this just may be the most biblical Easter we’ll ever have. 

In the gospel of John, Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb and was surprised that the body of her teacher was gone! A man appeared to her outside the tomb and, as she was crying, he comforted her and blessed her, and she realized that he was Jesus! “Do not hold onto me,” he told her, and he instructed her to go tell the disciples what she’d experienced. Jesus appears where we least expect him and sends us to tell the world the good news of his resurrection!  

The disciples were also in a familiar situation. In an article in Christianity Today, author Daniel Harrell writes: “The first Easter found the most faithful huddled away from their congregations, hiding out with a different fear. Instead of a pandemic, the disciples were afraid of the religious and political authorities who’d crucified Jesus and were likely coming after them too. Perhaps they also feared Jesus. After all, they’d sworn never to deny or disown him, but when everything went south, they’d scrambled and fled, leaving a small group of women to keep the faith afloat. And now Jesus was loose! The disciples’ socially-distant hideout proved a bad barrier. Jesus appeared in their midst (John 20:19–21) to forgive and to bless and, a few weeks hence, to empower with his very Spirit.” (Daniel Harrell, “An Easter Without Going to Church” found on

No matter where we are, Jesus finds us. Whether we are in our church pews dressed in our finest, or in our homes wearing our pajamas, Jesus finds us, forgives us, blesses us and charges us to reach out to others to share the good news. 

Even as we celebrate Easter in a new way this year, Jesus will Rise! As a church community, we will mark Easter with a special video worship. It will be posted on our website, Facebook page and on our You Tube channel. And WHEN we are able to gather  together, what a great celebration we will share! That day will be a different kind of resurrection – a resurrection of our community! 

May God bless you and your families this Easter and always,

Pastor Krista

Holy Week Devotions – Friday, April 10, 2020

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:26-27)

In his final moments of life, Jesus expresses care for those who’ve been important to him: his mother and the beloved disciple, asking them to take care of one another.

Today’s Activity: Who should we care for today? Who is in need of prayers? Post in the comments people to add to our virtual prayer wall – prayers of gratitude and petitions for help. Pastor Krista will pray for all the requests on Facebook Live at 6:00PM.

Holy Week Devotions -Thursday, April 9, 2020

“Carrying the Cross” by Terry M. Givens

Read the scripture from the gospel of  Mark 15:21.

As Jesus carried his cross, many people stood on the road and watched. Some were moved to tears. Some were amazed at the scene. Some maybe thought he deserved this punishment.  But Simon was moved to help. 

As we walk on the road with Jesus, we are all passers-by. What will our response be to a suffering innocent? What will be our response to Jesus?

Today’s Activity: How are you helping someone else get through this crisis? How are you helping carry the cross for another?

Holy Week Devotions – Wednesday, April 8, 2020

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did. (Luke 19:23-25)

As the soldiers stripped Jesus of his garments, the soldiers believe they have also stripped him of his status, his worth, and his beauty. They did not realize we are all made in the image of God and our beauty and worth is not as removable as our garments. As Jesus said in Matthew 6: 28-29, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.”

Today’s Activity: Consider the flowers in your yard, on your walk, in your planter boxes and take a moment to look at, smell and touch each, remembering that we are more than our looks, our clothing and our outward appearance. That we are created as amazing and unique as these flowers. Post an image of the flowers you see.

Holy Week Devotions – Tuesday, April 7, 2020

“Light One Candle” is a Hannukah song made famous by folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary first recorded in 1986. As I was thinking about how we can pray for those who’ve been affected by the pandemic, my list grew and grew: doctors, nurses, medical personnel, those who’ve died and their families, those who have tested positive and are fighting the virus, those who are sick and awaiting results, those whose lives have been disrupted….. that’s all of us! We all need prayers for help and healing; we all need prayers for strength and comfort. How do we pray for everyone that needs help?

Then I remembered the power of light in the darkness, about how one bit of light can change the darkness and I remembered all those times in history when the darkness threatened to overcome us. And the words we remember at Advent, from John 1: 5,  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Today’s activity: Light a candle for the people you are praying for today . Light a candle for the struggles of those in need in the world. Light a candle for those who live in poverty and “hot spots”, for those struggling to stay alive and remain hopeful. Light a candle for the world. Take a photo of your prayer candle and post the photo. so that we can all share the light together. Don’t let the light go out!

Holy Week Devotions – Monday, April 6, 2020

In 1873, Horatio Spafford, an American lawyer, wrote the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul.” It was written after a hard two years in Horatio’s life: His only son died in 1871 at the age of four from scarlet fever. Then, his financial life was ruined when his property was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him a telegram that read, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

In the face of grief, in the face of tragedy, we have a choice: we can choose sorrow, despair, and the unending undertow of fear and anger. OR we can see the strength, endurance, courage and faith that is ever-present, as is God. We can choose to look at our life and see that whether in times of peace or in times of sorrow, God is with us. That it all times of life – even in the face of death and destruction – God is with us to comfort us, to give us hope, to guide us from hatred into action. And until then, we wait. As Psalm 130: 5-9 instructs us:

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Activtiy: Post a photo or a text that brings you peace during this difficult time. What or who reassures you of the hope that all will be okay? What keeps you grounded when “sorrows like sea billows roll?”