Acknowledge how we divide, then unite | Church Corner

The following is written by Keith Marshall of Hope Lutheran Church:

  • Saturday, March 19, 2016 12:30pm
  • Life

The following is written by Keith Marshall of Hope Lutheran Church:

Have you ever run into a friend some place you never anticipated seeing them? Perhaps you are at a mutual friend’s party, not knowing you’re both acquaintances with the host. Maybe you are at a Mariners game and while standing in line for a hotdog you see an old friend. Most of the time when this happens there is a sense of surprise and excitement. You both say at the same time, “What are you doing here?”

The exchange of pleasantries begins, but eventually the conversation dwindles and this chance encounter comes to a close. You bid them farewell and get back to your previously scheduled life.

Easter is just a little more than a week away. Being Lutheran, I will soon be neck deep into Holy Week. From Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday I will lead eight worship services. It many ways the services and commitments for this time of the year can feel overwhelming. As a pastor, it means one more sermon to write, one more service to preside at, one more, one more, one more…

However, the reason we celebrate this holiest of weeks is because God showed up in the most unexpected of places. It wasn’t at a party or a baseball game (but he is there, too!). No, God showed up in death. During Holy Week, we make our way to the cross with our savior. This journey reminds us that it was for our sake and on our behalf that God showed up in death. It is in that death and subsequent resurrection in which we have new life and the forgiveness of sins.

God continues to show up in the most unexpected places even today. There is a narrative in our country that God is abandoning the United States. There is a belief that current events such as social inequality, racial tensions and even the upcoming election point to this fact. This assertion is a fallacy.

God is here and God is present. We have that promise from Jesus, “I will be with you always, to the very end of age” (Matthew 28:20). God’s faithfulness and abiding presence are not dependent upon us. However, tensions due to racial and gender inequality are dependent upon us and our sin. Don’t confuse the two.

As we make our way to the cross and Easter, may we recognize the ways in which we divide and not unite. The ways in which we separate and not gather. The ways our sins alienate us from God and others. May we respond by clinging to the one, through whose death and resurrection offers us new and eternal life. Jesus Christ, who meets us in the most unexpected of places – here and now!

More in Life

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!

Giving Trees help kids with Christmas

Nexus Youth And Families Enumclaw is asking local residents to help a child in need this Christmas by participating in the organization’s Giving Tree program.

Art display by local teachers, students

For the next month, the city of Enumclaw, 4Culture of King County and Arts Alive! will present an exhibition of current works by students of local art class teachers.

Surplus van benefits Enumclaw seniors

A surplus Metro Transit van was donated last week to the Enumclaw Senior Center to assist the facility in meeting a variety of transportation needs.

Preventing a Hepatitis A outbreak | Public Health Insider

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a highly contagious virus. A large outbreak in San Diego, along with outbreaks in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City has Public Health officials concerned that a hepatitis A outbreak could occur in King County. Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County’s Health Officer, explains who’s at risk and what can be done to prevent an outbreak.

Rescue group aims to save dogs’ lives; Saturday fun run will benefit the cause

All great dogs end with a tail, but this great tale begins with a dog.

Annual quilt show coming to Expo Center

The Crystal Quilters are preparing for a return to the Enumclaw Expo Center, getting ready for their 22nd annual quilt show.

Scottish Country dancers return to Enumclaw for 23rd year

For more than two decades, this group of dancers — now led by Jim and Pat McDonald — has been encouraging people from all over South King County and East Pierce County to learn more about their Scottish heritage or, barring a clan bloodline, to just get out and try something new.

Learn to compost with some red wrigglers

The Dinkelman Worm Farm is hosting a vermiculture demonstration — or the cultivation of earth worms — at the Delvin Farms Good For All Plants event next weekend to help people create compost in their own homes to help benefit their gardens or farms.

Free series provides insight from expert on death, dying

As a funeral home director in the 1980s, Duane Weeks began wondering why people weren’t dealing with death very well.