Good Friday // M-Note 4.2.2021

God can wring life from even the darkest tomb.
 
It is strange to call a day when Jesus died good. But, today is Good Friday. Why? Because through Jesus’ unjust suffering and death, God began a work of forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption for all of us. Easter stands as the ultimate example of God’s power. Jesus’ resurrection declares to the creation that while death is real, it isn’t final. Life stands on the other side of death. Even in the midst of darkness, we can hope because there is life waiting for us on the other side.
 
A lot of us need that reminder today. All of us have navigated our own difficult seasons this past year. Some of you have felt the loneliness of isolation, the pain of depression, or the grief of losing someone we love. Some of us are going through the motions of life but feel robbed of its joy. Many of you are questioning the direction of our life, our work, or our relationships. The past year has been a tomb of sorts, sealing so many of us off from those things or people that give us life.
 
This is why the good news of Easter is so important this year. On Sunday, The Gathering will have a unique and powerful Easter worship opportunity including inspiring music, a timely message, and an incredible testimony from a young woman in our church. All of the offering from Easter will once again fund The Gathering’s Literacy Project. All of the Easter worship will be online, beginning at 7am in the morning and running all day long. Pastors will be hosting each service and be offering live communion over zoom after each morning worship service. All the details, including times and ways to watch can be found at gatheringnow.org.
 
Today, I want to encourage you to do something. As I describe the realities of Good Friday, some of you might be thinking, “Matt, I am actually feeling pretty good”. If that is you, then here is a suggestion. Look around. Notice and pay attention to how your friends, neighbors, or family are doing. You have an opportunity to be a source of hope for someone around you.
 
One way we can offer light and hope to others is through a simple invitation. Invite someone to join you for Easter worship. That small act of inviting is a sign that you care, that you notice, and that someone isn’t alone. So forward this email, send a text, or share our Easter invitation on social media. Help us share good news this weekend with anyone, anywhere who needs it.
 
Tonight we will have an online Good Friday worship experience. I hope you will take part in it, and then I will see you on Easter Sunday! Hang in there. Hope is on the way.
 
Peace,
Matt
 
P.S. The Gathering will begin in-person worship at all of our physical sites the Sunday after Easter (April 11th). We will ask that you sign up for a service so we can plan accordingly. Registrations will open on Tuesday, April 6. You can register for a service and find all of our safety protocols here. We can’t wait to see you in real life!
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