March Message From Pastor Gary “Let the Journey Begin!”

Lent is a time in our church year when we are encouraged to put on the brakes, to slow down, and to focus on our relationship with Christ.

I encourage you to take a moment to remind yourself of Jesus’ ministry. Reflect on the true meaning of each of His final days on earth, realizing that every step was necessary. All the pain and agony was for a reason. The magnitude of his suffering and sacrifice on the cross was for the glory of God.

A man found a live caterpillar’s cocoon broken off a branch. He had visions of a beautiful butterfly developing from the cocoon, so he took care of it and anxiously watched and waited. Slowly it grew and one day a small hole started to form at one end. He wanted the butterfly to emerge so badly. The butterfly picked at the hole, a little bigger, a little bigger, and then it started to emerge. The man saw it struggling and fighting to push its way through the small hole. He had an idea: he would very carefully snip the hole with a pair of scissors to make it just a little bit larger. Now the butterfly could make its way out a little easier and sooner, too, he hoped. The next day the butterfly did make its way out of the cocoon, but as hours passed it didn’t change; the wings were lucid, and its legs failed to work. To the man’s sadness, it soon died.

Needing to find an answer, he searched the internet for an answer to why this butterfly’s wings did not grow beautiful so that it could fly itself away. He soon learned that it was his fault. In his rush for beauty and what he thought was a move to save the little butterfly the pain and agony of fitting through that little hole, he learned that the battle the butterfly fights to make its way through that little hole is what saves its life and gives it the strength to fly and gives it those brilliant colors in its wings.

The small hole squeegees the fluid off the outsides of the butterfly and at the same time forces the inner fluids down the legs and out though the wings, which gives it the strength in the legs and the life in its wings.

Nothing was made easy for Christ. During the last few day leading up to His death, Christ endured deep emotional, physical, and spiritual pain.

It can be hard for us to understand and even harder to watch. In the movie “The Passion,” the whips and nails get me every time. Each and every hit, whip, kick, and nail was taken and endured for one reason, to wash away your sin – a gift to you, a new forgiven life in Him.

Jesus told His disciples, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

Christ did the dirty work so you could fly away with a newfound strength in your legs, newfound life in your wings, and with the most precious gift ever given, His free gift of salvation. Join your daily journey with His ultimate journey through these upcoming weeks. Learn from Him, pray with Him, hurt with Him, but, more than anything, walk with Him, as your struggles and pain are your journey with Christ. Amen.

Pastor Gary

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