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The Pastor’s Piece – April 10, 2022

The Pastor’s Piece

FCFI

April 10, 2022

I’m sitting here tonight on the eve of going under the knife tomorrow. For the past few weeks I’ve been dealing with some lower abdominal pain. I found out this week I have what is called an inguinal hernia. The doctor considered my symptoms to be somewhat urgent and I have repair surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning. I’m not sure if this is major or minor surgery, but the nurse told me they were going to slice, snip, pull, wrap, tuck, and sew my innards back together again.  (That’s my interpretation). Since this sounds somewhat similar to DA surgery in a cow, I asked our veterinarian son if he would be interested in doing it. Unfortunately he declined. What this means is I will be out of commission for a few days.

I’ve only been knocked out for surgery one other time in my life. That was after a car accident and they had to do reconstructive surgery on my nose and nasal cavity. All I remember about that was being very cold when I came to and missing my wife terribly. I wished she was in there to hold my hand. This time, the nurse told me to wear socks because the operating room is cold. That seemed like an odd thing to say. Why wouldn’t I wear socks? 

She said they will give me an anesthetic they call “twilight”. 

“It will relax you and make you feel good all over,” she said, “then when you get to the operating room we’ll put you completely to sleep, and you’ll have good dreams.” I don’t know how they know I’ll have good dreams but as I wait for tomorrow to get here, that’s what has me intrigued the most about the whole operation – the dreams. 

I know people face a lot worse situations than this in their lives, so I won’t make a big deal out of it, but I’m praying that all goes well and that there are no complications in my recovery, but if there is, we’ll take it one day at a time – me and God that is. 

This is Holy Week. Our church, like thousands of other churches around the world, are celebrating in a big way the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If we piece together the various accounts of Easter Sunday, it seems that Jesus rose from the dead sometime in the pre-dawn hours. There was an earthquake, the seal on the tomb was broken, the stone rolled away by the angels, and Christ came out of the grave. The soldiers were knocked unconscious and when they awoke, they fled in fear. When the women found the tomb empty, they were confused and terrified. The angels told them that Christ had risen from the dead. They returned to tell the disciples who thought they were talking nonsense. John and Peter investigated, and when they saw the linen wrappings exactly where the body had been placed on Friday evening, they believed. They left to tell the others. At that point, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb. She is confused, bewildered, in shock, frightened, and brokenhearted. It has not yet occurred to her that the empty tomb meant that Jesus had risen from the dead.

She weeps because the tomb is empty. She is weeping over an empty tomb! What should have been good news broke her heart! We would say today that the empty tomb is one of the greatest proofs of the Resurrection. 

And consider this. If Mary had gotten her wish, we would be the ones weeping today. If she had found Jesus’ body still in the tomb, we would have nothing to celebrate because Easter would not exist.

One more thing – note the question Jesus asked: “Who are you looking for?” Not “What are you looking for?” That’s a different question. Mary was looking for a what? A dead body. She was looking for something; Jesus pointed her to Someone. The answer to our deepest needs is not something, but Someone, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you don’t already have a church to go to on Easter Sunday, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to Martintown Community Church. We have several services planned beginning on Thursday evening, April 14, at 6:00, where we will have a prayer and communion service. Our Easter Sunrise service will be at 6:30 a.m. on April 17 at 10382 W Wire Rd, Winslow, Illinois 61089. We will reenact that first Resurrection morning from John, chapter 20, where the risen Jesus meets Mary Magdalene at the tomb, and the disciples come to find it empty. Then we travel up the road to Martintown Church for our regular 8:00 and 10:30 services. Each message will build on the one before it. If you have time you can attend all three. If not, each message stands independently on its own as well. This is what I call our Super Sunday and we want to celebrate!

May God’s richest blessings be yours through our Risen Lord.

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin)