A Leap of Faith: Keeping Easter Where It Belongs

I’ve never given too much thought to the whole Leap Year concept, other than to wonder what it would be like to be born on February 29 th. As a youth I thought that a birthday every four years would be a rip-off, but now I’m thinking that birthdays come much too frequently and every fourth year might be ok. Probably in my later (much later!) years, I’ll celebrate each birthday as a milestone reached – but I’m not there yet.

Yes, I know the leap year math... since each year contains 365.242374 days, every fourth year (or so – there ARE exceptions!) needs to have an extra day added to even things out and keep Easter in its place on the 14 th day of the moon that falls on March 21 st.

Keeping Easter in its place... other than worrying about what date it falls on (March 23 rd – really early this year!!!), how do we give what we celebrateon Easter the proper place in our lives? Easter is, of course, the celebration of Jesus’ victory over the power of sin and death, but what does that mean for us? Simply put, this amazing and wondrous victory won for us by Jesus means that we don’t have to fight against or fear the darkness of sin and death, but are free to live our lives as though these forces don’t ultimately matter. Our lives are defined not by what we fear, nor by the effects of those things, but rather by what we do with our freedom. Our choices, our responses, our paths... these things all change and are made new because of our freedom in Christ.

This year is a “leap year” of sorts for Trinity – a year in which we leap out of one mode of ministry and into... what??? Just asking the question makes some people nervous. And daring to answer the question makes some people downright sketchy. “Must we leap? “ some may be thinking. “Can’t we just shuffle a little? Do we actually have to change anything?” Sacred Cows are being herded and even tipped (HA! Sacred Cow Tipping!) , and questions like, “We’ve done it that way for 60 years – why change now?” are becoming more frequent as old paradigms are challenged and new ones proposed.

It’s time to make some “Sacred Hamburger,” and it’s our opportunity to challenge the notion that what was done in the past is always right for today. Harder questions I find myself sometimes asking are, “How can we minister to the community TODAY?” or even harder, “We’ve been doing it wrong for 60 years – can’t we finally do it right?” Ooooh! I hear those sacred cow burgers sizzling even now! I’ll have cheese on mine! Cheddar, please!

Trinity is truly at a leap year in its faith journey. The loan is being paid off so that cash can be freed up to move in new directions, the school ministry is being reconsidered and re-visioned, our church is about to enter into a new phase of life and re-construction, and well, we just need to dig in, pray for guidance, clarity and wisdom, and do it. Sorting out the best of who and what we are as a church and school ministry, looking at the needs of our members and community, and actually moving forward in faith and hope – that’s what is laid before us this year.

Leaping into 2008 in faith with you,

Pastor Larry