First Lutheran Church

Ketchikan, Alaska

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

We are called by Christ to Invite, Equip & Send

Spring 2017

Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday 9a-1p

April 23rd @ 1pm
Youth Group Organization Meeting
Tiffany Cook 617-0353

May 7th @ 11:30am
Quarterly Congregation

8 am Prayer Meeting
9 am Bible Study
10 am Worship
11:30 am Fellowship
11:45 am 7th-8th gr                     Confirmation

5:30 pm Exec Comm - 1st of the month

5:30 pm Council, 2nd wk of the month

10:30 am Pastor's 
Text Study
2 pm Pioneer Home


6:30 am Men's Breakfast
10:30 am Men's Coffee

Knowing the End of the Story

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, also called Passion Week. Passion because it reveals the deep love of God for all of humanity, through Jesus, who took his final steps towards dying on a cross. Would that there were another way for God to redeem the people of this world. Would that the forgiveness of sins and the gift of new life didn’t warrant the death of an innocent man or the spilling of blood. Would that we could just fast forward to Easter and celebrate the mystery and wonder of an empty tomb? But that’s not how the story goes. Jesus had to die in order for him to be resurrected. And Jesus had to walk through that final week of his human life.
        A favorite movie of mine portrays the Passion of Christ, "Jesus of Montreal." Some actors get hired by a church to re-enact this compelling story. While the story unfolds, the actors cross a line with the church such that the leaders decide to pull the plug and stop the show. So the police arrive during the final performance. As the officers try to arrest the actors, someone in the crowd yells out, “Just let them finish!” And without missing a beat, a policeman quips, “But you already know how the story ends.”
        Boy howdy! Do we ever know how the story ends. Jesus dies…and three days later he comes back to life. St. Paul gives a summary of God’s work through Jesus (perhaps an ancient creed or hymn) in Philippians 2:6-11. Then he writes, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead (3:10-11).”
        Did you get that? St Paul wants to “become like Jesus in his death” in order to attain the resurrection. Rather than avoid death or suffering, Paul embraces them  because he knows the end of the story, that death is not the end. So it goes for you and me, that because Jesus faced the cross in obedience to God’s will, faith in Christ empowers us to face our own pains in life and of the world. We, too, know the end of the story, that death is not the end. As Jesus arose from the empty tomb, we too can have new life through our own death and resurrection.
    To God alone be the Glory!
            Pastor Keith