When I was younger, I struggled mightily with Jesus’ death on the cross. In fact, I struggled with the whole notion that God’s plan for my salvation required His son, His only begotten son to die a painful, humiliating death. More than once I asked, “What kind of God is this who would sacrifice His only son? How morbid can God be? Wasn’t there another way?”
Jesus, in his own agonizing prayer the night before his arrest, surely asked God if it were necessary for him to die. He was not shy in asking God to let him avoid the suffering that awaited him. He was, however, perfectly obedient to the will of his heavenly Father. God’s response to His son’s pleading was steadfast: Jesus must die.
I am composing this message while traveling to one of my family’s favorite getaways just south of Branson. We planned this trip months ago as a celebration gift for my wife’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age, but it’s the big one. That is not the big announcement, but the timing of the trip means that this is not exactly the ideal way to share the news I must share. Our Bishop, Cynthia Fierro-Harvey, has asked me to serve as a District Superintendent for the Louisiana Conference. I will be assuming the new role this summer, July 1. Although I will be leaving Trinity, Leslie will remain appointed here providing invaluable assistance in the transition to new pastoral leadership.
Is anybody suffering from the Post-Christmas Blues yet? It’s easy to become depressed after all the excitement. All the fireworks will be burned out by the New Year, and there’s no post-season remaining for my teams. The tree in the box or sitting by the trash piles of wrapping paper reminds us again of the bleak mid-winter.