Pastor's Note
A Word From the Pastor, Reverend, Joshua B. Shuster

Reverend, Joshua B. Shuster
Senior Pastor,
Reverend, Joshua B. Shuster

From Dr. Ralph Wilson:

If you've ever felt despair at the pit of your stomach, then you know what Peter felt. When he did go out, he would walk in a kind of daze, utterly disoriented, shattered, the center of his world now a black hole, an empty void.

How could the Messiah, the heir of David's throne, be executed? It went against all logic. It was impossible — yet it had happened, and oh so swiftly!
Peter slept fitfully Saturday night and when his eyes opened Sunday morning, the doom of death was heavy upon him. He pulled his cloak over his eyes, hoping he could fall back to sleep, but knowing he wouldn't.

All of a sudden someone was banging on the door. Soldiers! Peter got up with a start. How can I es-cape? Then he heard Mary Magdalene's voice, and his terror fell back into depression. Mary was breathless, troubled, her face stained with tears. Peter grumbled, "Why did you have to wake me so early?" Mary blurted out: "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb!" Peter pulled his fellow-disciple John to his feet, slammed the door behind them, and began to run through the narrow streets, out the city gate, and then on to the tomb.

The great stone that had sealed the tomb stood open. As they entered, the sepulcher was empty, except for some folded grave clothes. The body was gone.
He walked slowly back towards the city pondering, thinking, wanting to believe, but afraid to hope. Suddenly, Jesus appeared. Peter, the so-called "rock," had publicly betrayed him. He had shouted, "I don't know the man!" He was so unworthy. And yet here was Jesus before him. Peter fell to his knees and wept for joy.

Peter never said much to the others about this meeting — what had been said, what had transpired. But after that you'd sometimes see Peter deep in thought, pensive. Then he would nod his head and traces of a smile would begin to transform his face into one written with thankfulness and joy and peace. Peter had been whipsawed from his pit of despair and pulled by the Master into peace. Life had changed for the good. And since then many have found this same peace, this same smile of wonder at Jesus' amazing grace. Maybe you too. Jesus had risen — and Peter never doubted him again.

Friends, our lives have changed for the good as well! Christ has Risen! Christ has Risen indeed! May we respond as a people of faith and hope.

Pastor Josh

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