Today is Palm Sunday… the day that Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey… he showed majesty and humility that day. The crowds loved it. They lined the streets. They threw down their cloaks. They waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Then they fell away when the going got tough.
That’s a shame… and most mature Christians know why. Most mature Christians know that it’s those “tough times” that make life meaningful in the end. It’s the times we are stretched and nearly broken, bruised by life yet not beaten that give us character and substance. Nearly no one wants to go through such times … but many make it to the other side and say, “I came away stronger!”
That’s my hope for us as a church and especially for our children and youth. That, as the tough times come, we stand strong in Christ together. That we support one another when we face the storms and stresses of the world. That we encourage one another across the age groups. That the senior members of our congregation in years, faith and life experiences look back and offer a hand up to the emerging generations.
Saturday our youth group, Eastminster Power and Light, kicked off a new season of ministry under the leadership of Julie Rogers-Martin and a dedicated group of advisors. They will form a close Christian community within our embrace.
Following the Sunday 10 a.m. worship, the Youth Room will be dedicated to God’s glory and in the hope that our kids come through the tough times of life stronger and resilient in their faith. In your worship guides today are colored cards where you may write your hopes and prayers for our youth. Those who are able are asked to come to the Youth Room on the second floor of the Christian Ministry Center for a brief service of blessing following worship. There is an elevator just inside the door of the Center. Those that are not able to come may leave your “Hopes and Prayers” cards in baskets as you leave.
As we journey through this week with Christ, let’s hang tough with him… remembering the suffering he endured as we gather together on Maundy Thursday (April 17) for music by harpist Angie Beemis at 6:30 p.m. and a Service of Darkness at 7:00 p.m. … and as we gather for an Easter Vigil at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday April, 19 the night before Easter. May these be the times of seasoning!
And may we celebrate the Light… Easter Day at 6:30 a.m. sunrise, 8:15 and 10:00 a.m.…. and even today as we kick off a new season of ministry with children and youth. May our youth prove to be as resilient and strong as the adults who guide this church through times of challenge and joy.