Friday, April 3, 2009


I'm up at the University of Minnesota Morris supposedly "chaperoning" the youth who are here as a part of the Dassel-Cokato High School Jazz Band. I haven't been given any responsibilities, other than just to be here with the kids, and the director seems to have things well in hand, so it's more of an enjoyable trip for me.

We're up here for the 31st annual UMM Jazz Festival. Many years ago I was part of a jazz band under the direction of James "Doc" Carlson, who is retiring this year after 31 years at UMM. He's bald now, and obviously older, but he still has the same fire, the same zest, the same passion for jazz that he always has. It's a joy to watch him work, encouraging and pushing the students to do their best.

God is passionate for us too, but in a way that goes way beyond anything any of us can ever fully appreciate. He is willing to give himself for us, for all of us, even for those of us who don't usually pay any attention. He gave himself as a human being, living among us for 33 years, inspiring and pushing his student disciples beyond the normal limits of self-giving love. And he did it, not only for those who happened to be alive then and there, but also for us.

Next week we have the opportunity be immersed in our Lord's work on our behalf. During the rest of the year we focus on the results of what God has done for us. Those who participate in "Holy Week" go behind the scenes to the messy and painful time and place of Christ's passion, to the time when he gave himself for sinners. Those who plunge in will "see" and hear how great God's love is and will be inspired to give themselves passionately for the world.

Come each day next week:
  • Palm/Passion Sunday with our choir, 8:30 & 11:00 a.m.
  • 7:00 a.m. half hour Morning Prayer, Mon., Tue., Wed. April 6-8 at ELC church
  • 10 a.m. half hour Morning Prayer, Mon., Tue., Wed, at various locations in town
    * Monday - Cokato Apartments Building I (back of Cokato Manor)
    * Tuesday – Cokato Apartments Building IV (Broadway south of Casey’s)
    * Wednesday – Edgewood Gables
  • April 9 – Holy Communion Thursday -- a celebration of God's Love in Action, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. (5:30 meal for all) at ELC church
  • April 10 – Good Friday Communion (half hour) 10:00 a.m. at Cokato Apartments Building III
  • Good Friday all community worship Noon to 3 p.m., Friday, April 10 at First Baptist Church. Come for the full three hours or for one of the “7 Last Words of Christ” (20 minutes each with various local pastors speaking)
  • Good Friday evening worship, 6:30 p.m. at ELC church
  • April 12 – RESURRECTION DAY Easter worship: 6:30, 8:30, 10:30 a.m. at ELC church
The benefits of what God has done for us are not limited to those who participate in Holy Week. Those, however, who can spend the time will more deeply appreciate the passionate love God has for each of us, and, knowing what it cost Him, we will be more willing to give ourselves in love to and for others.

See you at church or at any of the above events. If you or those you know can't come, let us know and we'll do our best to come to you.

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