As this newsletter reaches your inbox or your mailbox, we are about to enter into the most holy week of the year for us as Christians. We tell some terrible and dramatic stories during this week - recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his last supper with his friends, the ugliness of betrayal and the injustice of the justice system which sentenced him to death, his crucifixion, and finally, his burial and the emptiness that followed his death. Why do we call stories of such violence and betrayal the most holy?

  These stories - and this holy week - remind us that God’s love is not purely or simply sentimental. It’s not about warm fuzzies or feel-good stories.  God’s love is most definitely not about saving ourselves.  God’s love is about the thriving of all of God’s people and all of creation - whatever it takes. Throughout his life, and in his death, Jesus shows us the way to God’s Kingdom here on earth.  Jesus shows us that love is not afraid of suffering or even death - an important promise in the midst of pandemic, inequitable worldwide vaccine distribution, the trial here in Minneapolis, and the ongoing hate crimes committed by white supremacists around the country.

   I pray this holy week will, again, ground us in these promises so that we might faithfully follow Jesus. And, as our holy week culminates in the promise of resurrection this Easter, I pray we remember that God’s love will always prevail.  Let us not diminish God’s promise as sentimental, but live into it through our continued work towards justice and liberation for all of God’s people and all of creation.

~ Pastor Maria