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Now these three remain: faithhope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 

I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday. I questioned the timing of a pastor getting this vaccine during Holy Week, but we can’t be choosy. I think of receiving the vaccine, when possible, as helping move the world toward immunity and healing. The band-aids we bear, ugly as they may be, are a sign of love.  

Today is Good Friday, and we kneel at the cross of our Savior Jesus. The cross of Jesus, ugly as it may be, is a sign of love. We have taken a spiritual journey to the cross this Lent reflecting on the Psalms and the Shema prayer directing us to love God with all our hearts, souls, and strength. Our hearts have been renewed and prepared for the end of the journey to Jerusalem with the death of Jesus on the cross.  

We begin a new journey forward from the empty tomb! Our hearts have been renewed and prepared to be filled with joy on Easter morning at the resurrection of Jesus! Easter is a story of faith, hope, and love. Just as the past year has been filled with sorrows and joys, so it is with the paradox of the cross which leads to resurrection and new life.  

I can’t wait to celebrate Easter with you! You can join us for in-person worship or on our live stream. For now in-person worship with masks and social distancing at both campuses will continue every Sunday at 9am with emailed sign-ups. Every service will be live streamed from Tempe to YouTube and Facebook. This is a sign of hope for the good things to come as our world reopens to new possibilities. 

After Easter I am taking some time to refresh. I will take a break from the Friday updates, but the Desert Cross news will still come to your inbox. Keep looking for those signs of love – they are all around us! 

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 

May you be filled with faith, hope, and love on Easter morning and in the days ahead. Pastor Andrea