April Pastor’s Pen

I went into the department store today. In my hand was the valuable coupon. In my mind were the two things I was going in to get. Just two. But you know how it works, right? Have you ever gone into the grocery to get just milk or just three or four things, only to walk out with $100 worth of well, this was on sale, and that was on sale, and I forgot about that? I do that all the time. So this time, I had a cunning plan. As I entered the store, I walked right on past the buggies. Right, just the two things I came for. Just what I can carry in my hands. Nothing else. But my body has an autopilot function in this store, and I may not have had a buggy but I still went directly to the clearance racks. I don’t need any clothes right now. Let me say that again: I do not need any clothes right now! But this is what happens: a shirt on the clearance rack plus a Spring sale plus a coupon makes this a $3 shirt for next winter and who can pass up a bargain like that, right? I mean, I’m just being a smart shopper! Fortunately…there was a man thumbing through the items in my size, and he was in no hurry. Even when I stood right next to him and tried to look over his shoulder. God bless him! I was saved! So I gave up and moved on towards where the two things I came for would be found. First item: didn’t have it. Well, they had a whole display of them, but not the size that I needed. Ah, well, moving on…past a display of the towels I like on sale for $5! A $5 good towel! Surely I… No, somehow I kept moving. Made it to the second item. Not much choice today…and not the one I was looking for. But the ones here are buy one and get one half off! Steady… Somehow, some way, I walked out of the store, coupon still in hand, and no money spent. My life will go on just fine, I am sure. Are you always looking for a deal? I used to belong to a record club (which became a record & CD club) that would regularly have “buy one get three free” sales. That’s one of the reasons I have so many CDs. Do you go to the after Christmas sales and buy presents for next Christmas while they are marked down? We did that every single year when I was growing up. Will you only buy a car during the holiday sales, or when it’s 0% finance, or both? Makes sense to me. Now. What would you pay to save your life? Would you wait for a sale, or would you pay full price? This month, Jesus is going to reach Jerusalem. And when he gets there…well, we know the story. Many churches – too many churches – will celebrate Palm Sunday and the cheering crowds and then Easter Sunday and the miracle of the Resurrection and completely miss (avoid?) all that happens in between those two days. The teaching in the Temple. Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. The chasing out of the money changers. My house is a house of prayer! The Last Supper. Do this in remembrance of me. Washing the disciples’ feet. If I, your Lord and Master, have done this for you… The last commandment. Love one another as I have loved you. The prayer in Gethsemane. Father, if there is any other way…but your will be done. The betrayal. Judas, you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? The interview with Pontius Pilate. What is truth? Pilate’s attempt to release Jesus. Crucify him! That long, slow climb up Golgotha. The nails piercing his flesh. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. His death. It is finished. Finished? Hardly! Only just begun. Salvation offered for all, and no coupon or payment required. As we prepare to enter the Easter season, don’t hold back in your love and service of Jesus. Don’t wait for a better day or for things to be just right. Today is the perfect day to commit or re-commit your life to him. Without compromise. Without hesitation. Jesus loves you. The Holy Spirit lives and moves and breathes in you. The Father wants a relationship with you. What we could not do God has done for us. All we have to do is accept the gift. Will you?

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