Monday Musings for 4-6-20
Dear Friends,
This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly.  This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized.  It’s going to be happening all over the country.  And I want America to understand that.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams 
April 5, 2020
What a way to start a week!  And not just any week.  This is Holy Week.  Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  Sunday will be Easter.  And before we get there, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
This was a hard and a sad week for Jesus. Ever since, this has always been a hard and a sad week for his followers.  Easter is the day of victory and celebration, but we can’t get there without first walking with Jesus through this uniquely holy and challenging week.
We pray that the loss of life this week will be far less than projected, but we know that many lives already have been lost and, even in the best case scenarios, many more lives will be lost.  We pray for those who are on the front lines of this battle, whose sacrifice is far greater than the “stay at home” restrictions we are living under.  We pray for those who have lost jobs and income.  Especially we pray for those who have lost hope.
This is the week we think of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.  Sometimes we make the cross way too complicated.  I prefer simple.  Like this.
A grade school teacher gave her class a creative writing assignment.   She read them a story with no ending.  They were to write the ending.  This was the story:
There was an ant and there was a grasshopper.  All summer long and into the fall the ant gathered food and stored it in preparation for the long, hard winter when there would be no food to gather.  And all summer long and all fall the grasshopper jumped and played and enjoyed himself in the moment.  The grasshopper knew winter was coming but figured he’d worry about that when the time came.
 
It was an unusually long and hard winter.  The ant was doing just fine but the grasshopper was starving to death.  One day the grasshopper went to visit the ant.  It took all the strength he had to make the trip.  The grasshopper said to the ant:  “I have nothing to eat.  I am starving to death.  Can you help me?”
And that’s where the story ended.  The teacher explained that this was where the class’s creative writing assignment would begin.  They would write the ending.
Most of the endings were predictable.  There were a few that went something like this:
The ant said to the grasshopper, “You knew winter was coming while you were enjoying the good weather playing.  You should have thought ahead and gathered up food like I did. I’m sorry Mr. Grasshopper, but I cannot help you.”
There weren’t too many like that.  Most of the endings were like this:
The ant said to the grasshopper, “I have more than I need and I am happy to share,” so the ant and the grasshopper lived happily ever after.
There was only one ending the teacher was not at all prepared to read.
The ant said to the grasshopper, “You may have my food,” and so the grasshopper survived the long, hard winter and the ant starved to death.
The little girl who ended the story this way added an illustration.  It was a cross.
In Christ,
John
PS  If you didn’t get to see our online worship service yesterday, here is the link:  https://youtu.be/k41kfpKzwTg
Easter worship will require a different link.  Most of you get church e-mails in addition to this.  If you do, you will get instructions on how to access our Easter service. If you don’t, just respond to this, and I will make sure it is sent to you.  Holy Week and Easter blessings to you all!