Pastor Peterson's Pericopes

It has been a different Easter. I can't remember one quite like it.


For the last several months, I have watched two beloved church members gradually fail. Both Steve Nelson and Sally Fanton were living with cancer. I had grown to treasure both of them over the years—both as church members and as friends. It was hard to watch the toll that the disease was taking on them month after month.


I got to know Steve through our Friday Men's Bible Study. He added so much to that group. Steve had come from a very "fire and brimstone" religious upbringing. Now he exuded such grace and acceptance. That transformation was a gift he shared with the group.


Sally was a joy to be around. Many of you know that. She just raised the bar on everything in which she was involved. Her grace and classiness made us all better.


The "gift" of cancer is that you have time to say good bye. The curse of cancer is that you also must watch a loved one suffer—and Steve and Sally suffered. The cancer got into their bones and that was beyond painful.


Steve's funeral was on the Saturday before Easter. His family wanted to have all the Easter lilies and spring flowers out for his funeral. Sally died on Good Friday.


For me, it made the Easter message all the more profound.


It was crunch time for Sally and Steve. When your life is being measured in months and weeks, everything takes on a new perspective. Everything becomes more precious—especially that Easter message.


If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. I hold onto the word "certainly." So did Steve and Sally.


He is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.



Pastor Peterson

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