by Pastor Tim White
There are many people who I admire and respect for so many different reasons. One of those people is Ben Llanes. I love to follow him online. He loves his kids, he loves his wife, he loves his extended family and he loves nature which all flow from his love of God. Add to that the fact that he is a great photographer, his posts are so inspiring to me! The other day, after a very poetic post about nature, I had to tell him that he reminded me of John Muir. Not that I ever knew John Muir but this great naturalist and leader in our National Park movement was a person who was passionate about God’s Creation. John Muir would climb a tall tree just to ride out a windstorm so that he could fully enjoy the power of the storm. Ben is fully alive like John Muir. I hope every little girl in our church gets to grow up and marry someone so fully alive as Ben. I told Ben in his post, “I want to grow up and be just like you someday.”
In his passion for life, Ben is like Jesus. Jesus was full of passion for life. In fact, he said, I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10. This week we are starting a new series about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. I am calling it “The Passion of Jesus.” A healthy relationship with Jesus is where we get our passion to be alive - for the next day, the next friendship, the next adventure.
We love to watch solar events at night. Our neighbors built a patio and have had us over to watch such events. Of course, we get to enjoy it through the eyes of their two boys Benjamin and J.J. Such passion for life is contagious. The Book of Mark was written by a teenage disciple of Jesus called John Mark. It is full of action. He doesn’t even tell the Christmas story. Half of the Book is about the last week in the life of Jesus called The Passion.
Yes, we are passionate about this Easter! Who wouldn’t be? On Saturday, the 20th, an Easter Egg Hunt in the pool begins at 4:00pm for the kids from our church and surrounding neighborhood with Pastor Josh sharing the Easter story. Then maybe the most dramatic Easter Pageant and Worship Service that we have ever experienced will be held in Spirit Falls on Sunday at 9:30am and 11:00am. This year it will include an actor playing Jesus who helps me tell the story to the kids by sharing the actual words of Jesus in very dramatic fashion - the touching love of the crucifixion and what that has meant in changing people’s lives for over 2000 years. Then the breathtaking resurrection scene right there in front of our waterfall!
Other Holy Week Services will include Good Friday Service on April 19 at 7:00pm. We have a special guest speaker to lead us, not only in celebrating the cross, but in a very inspiring healing service. Pastor Linda Skinner is working with Rhonda on a service we will never forget. Saturday night at the 5:30pm Worship Service where our own, theologian in residence, Dr. Marty Folsom will share on Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday start the day with the Sunrise Service at 7:00am with Pastor Josh. And of course, Pastor David will be providing an incredible Easter Sunday Brunch at 8:00am. Finally, another Easter Egg Hunt for the kids on Sunday at 12:30pm on the beautiful grassy top of the hill. What a great time to share the passion of Jesus with the whole world!
Let’s start by catching the Passion of Jesus as we begin to study the Gospel of Mark this weekend. You are ALL invited.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White