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Heppner Gazette-Times, Heppner, Oregon Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Messages of Easter hope from local pastors
The Meaning of the
The resurrection of Jesus was an event of seismic
The ground had already begun shaking the previous
Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a
donkey. He was hailed as a conquering hero (although he
hardly looked the part) and greeted with palm branches
and shouts of “Hosanna!”—the ancient equivalent of a
ticker-tape parade. The Gospel of Matthew says the whole
city was shaken, stirred up, moved, or in turmoil (depend-
ing on how you translate Matthew’s original choice of
words for the uproar that followed).
By Friday, the cheers had turned to boos and hisses,
and the earth began shaking again as nails were driven
into the hands and feet of an innocent victim. Lifted up
on a cross, crowned with thorns, Jesus was scorned by
those who had orchestrated his death. Only a few faithful
women watched the horror unfold; the rest of his followers
had vanished. Matthew tells us that at the moment Jesus
breathed his last, the earth shook, rocks split, and the
temple curtain was torn top to bottom in an earthquake
that even terrified the Roman guards into admitting that
“Truly this man was God’s Son”—a title exclusively
reserved for their emperor.
On Sunday morning, the ground shook yet again, and
in this earthquake, the stone rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb
was thrust aside to reveal…nothing! The dead body of
Jesus was no longer there, because Jesus was no longer
dead. This discovery sent shockwaves through the women
who had come to the tomb to grieve, but would instead
meet a living Jesus whose first words to them were, “Do
not be afraid.”
. . . as if three earth-rattling events in a week’s time
is normal! Of course they were afraid—afraid that this
was a trick; afraid that it wasn’t; afraid that no one would
believe they’d seen Jesus alive. But fear was not all they
felt. According to Matthew, the women left the tomb “with
fear and great joy.” Jesus had spoken the truth. He had
promised to rise again in three days and he did. And if
that’s true—since that’s true—then everything Jesus said
about himself and his Father’s love for us is trustworthy
and true as well. There are blessings for the meek and the
merciful. The weary can come to him for rest. God’s for-
giveness has no limits, and neither should ours. Love for
God and neighbor is more important than anything else.
Jesus lives. This truth still has the power to shake
loose any fear or doubt that’s been holding us back, and
set us free to trust and love and experience the abundant
life Jesus offers as a gift—costly for him; free for us. The
earth may even shake beneath your feet for a moment
when God hears you say “Yes! That’s a gift I want to
claim as my own.”
Rev. Katy Anderson
Hopeful Saints Ministry
All Saints Episcopal & Hope Lutheran
Palm Sunday (April 9) - Holy Saturday (April 15)
Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of
the year, for it is now that we will commemorate and re-
member the last week of Jesus’ life on this earth. These are
the days leading up to the great Easter Feast. The Lenten
season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an
end, but this coming week is extremely important for all
Christians. The greatest focus of the week is the Passion
(suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events
that led up to it.
Historical documents tell us that as early as the fourth
century the Church celebrated this “Great Week” with a
feeling of profound sanctity. It begins with Palm Sunday,
which marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The
central feature of the service proper to this day, as it was
in the earliest times, is the procession of palms. The palms
are blessed and are then borne in procession to the church,
where an entry is made with a certain amount of ceremony,
after which the Mass is celebrated. The other notable and
very ancient feature of the present Palm Sunday service is
the reading of the Gospel of the Passion by three readers.
Especially important for Catholics is the Easter
Triduum. This is the three days just before Easter. On
Holy Thursday, we reenact the Lord’s Last Supper, which
He shared with His apostles on the night He was betrayed
and arrested. This is one of the most beautiful liturgies
of the entire liturgical year. At the Mass, the priest will
wash the feet of twelve men, just as Jesus did. Also on this
night, priests all over the world will renew their sacred
vows. This is because, at the Last Supper, Jesus not only
instituted the Mass (Eucharist) but also the ministerial
On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death
of our Lord, we have the veneration of the Cross. A service
is held at three o’clock in the afternoon (the hour He is
believed to have died) and another later in the evening.
We go forward and kiss the Cross in order to show honor
and respect for Christ’s sacrifice for our sake. There is no
consecration of the Eucharist on this day, and the Com-
munion we receive will be from the night before, which
has been reserved in the tabernacle.
Holy Saturday is a vigil. We keep watch for the ex-
pectant rising of Our Savior. This was the day He went
down into the netherworld in order to bring back up with
Him into heaven those who had died before His coming.
Up to this time, the gates to heaven were closed and no
one could go there because of the original sin of Adam.
Jesus changed all that. By paying the price for our sins
on the Cross, He gained for us our eternal salvation, and
heaven was opened once more.
Also on this night, persons who have spent months
of preparation will be received through Baptism and
Confirmation into the Catholic Church for the first time.
It is a joyous occasion.
Those who engage themselves wholeheartedly in liv-
ing the entire paschal cycle (Lent, Triduum and Easter’s
Fifty Days) discover that it can change them forever. This
is especially so of the Triduum which, standing at the
heart of the Easter season, is an intense immersion in the
fundamental mystery of what it is to be Christian. During
these days, we suffer with Christ so that we might rise
with Him at His glorious Resurrection. Holy Week is a
time to clear our schedules of unnecessary activities. Our
minds and hearts should be fixed on Jesus and what He
did for us. Let us bear the Cross so that may be worthy
of wearing the crown He wore.
Easter Sunday (April 16):
The Lord Is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!
So, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us live in
Joy of Easter with all our friends in Christ and make our
special efforts to reach out to those who don’t know about
Christ, so that they may know Jesus and manifest their joy
outwardly as we are doing today. We shall live in faith in
Jesus Christ that He is truly risen from the dead and bring
Joy to the whole world.
Wishing you a blessed and joyful Easter,
Rev. Fr. Papa Rao Pasala
St. Patrick’s & St. William’s Catholic churches, Hep-
pner & Ione
Easter has a different meaning to people. To some it
means the beginning of their Spring Break, so it is about
a vacation somewhere warm. For others, especially this
year, it means time to head to the slopes for some late
skiing. Others can only think of colored eggs and hiding
them for their children and grandchildren to hunt and find.
Easter is often beginning or continuing on with family
traditions. Families will travel many miles to gather for
lunch, Easter egg hunts, and family time together. They
will be concerned over whether or not the ham is cooked
right, favorite pies are prepared and if there are enough
eggs for the children to find. Unfortunately the meaning
and reason for Easter can get lost in all the busy-ness of
As a child growing up, Easter was maybe my favor-
ite holiday. I knew that the Easter meant that spring had
finally arrived, bringing with it baseball and the Masters
golf tournament. I also knew that our home would be
full of family and friends. There would be more food on
the table than we could eat and after lunch all of us kids
would be hunting eggs on the two acres we owned. There
would probably be a stranger or two at the table as Mom
would make sure that no one was having Easter alone if
she could help it. Ask my daughters and they would tell
you that Easter at grandmas was their favorite holiday too.
But that is not what Easter is about either. Easter
means new beginnings. Winter is over and the earth comes
back to life. Daffodils grow and bloom and the trees put
on their blossoms, the winter wheat is turning the fields
green and the alfalfa will be ready for its first cutting soon.
Easter signifies new beginnings and hope.
In a world filled with violence, hatred and despair the
one thing all of humanity needs is hope and that is what
Easter tells us. Hope because the tomb where Jesus was
laid after his death on the cross was found to be empty.
Hope because the one who came to rescue us from the
punishment for our sin overcame that punishment, death.
Hope because we have more to look forward to then just
this life, these few short years on earth. We have the hope
and promise of eternal life through Jesus the savior of
As the Don Francisco song tells us “He is Alive.” So
enjoy your family, color and search for those eggs, and
make memories with your families. But do not lose sight
of what Easter is all about.
The tomb is empty; He is alive!
Pastor Ray DeLoe
Have you ever stopped and wondered if one decision
Heppner Christian Church
can impact the course of history? Can a decision to turn
left instead of right at a stop sign really make that much
difference? If I eat eggs instead of pancakes for breakfast,
will the universe unravel? Perhaps there is more weight
to decisions than we realize.
There was one decision, one act of obedience, which
forever changed the course of history. That act is recorded
Heppner Christian Church invites the community
in the Bible in Mark Chapter 14, verse 36. In that moment
to an Easter breakfast planned for April 16 from 8-9:30
in time, Jesus is presented with the choice to either go to
a.m. at the church, located at 293 N. Gale St. in Heppner.
the cross and die or to rebel and live.
Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs cooked to order,
If Jesus takes the path of life and avoids the cross,
sausage and drinks. Donations made for the breakfast will
an instrument of suffering and death, the plan of God to
go to Hope 2 Liberia.
forever deal with sin cannot be completed. On the other
hand, if Jesus takes the path to the cross, He will endure a
level of suffering no one has ever known, but accomplish
redemption for all humankind. Truly, an impossible deci-
sion on which at that moment the fate of the world hung.
Of course, we know Jesus chose the cross. He chose
The Boardman, Irrigon and Heppner branches of the to have all of the justified, holy wrath of God poured
Oregon Trail Library District will be closed April 18-22 out on Him. He chose to have God punish all evil and
so staff can attend the state library conference in Salem. all wrongdoing on Him the day that He was crucified.
Without being forced to, He willingly allowed nails to be
driven into His body, pinning Him to wooden beams to
hang suspended in the air from until He was dead. Why
would anyone make such a gruesome choice?
By choosing the cross, Jesus allowed the Father to
pour out all the consequences for evil on Him instead of
on you and me. He took upon Himself all the pain and
torture we should have received. Evil had to be paid for.
Justice had to be done. The character of God as a good,
loving, just person depended on balancing of the scales
When Jesus made the decision to obey and go to
the cross, Jesus stood in for you. He subbed Himself in
for you. He took our place on the cross. It is done, it is
finished, and it is history. However, decisions to alter
history do not end there.
Just as Jesus made the decision to make a way for
your sin (wrongdoing) to be erased and forgiven, you must
make a decision as well. What Jesus did is only effective
if you choose to accept it. You must believe and accept
what Jesus has done for you. You can say, “No thank you,
I will pay for my sin myself,” and face the deserved con-
sequences for your wrongdoing, or you can say, “Thank
you Jesus, I accept what you have done for me.”
Whatever choice you make will alter the course of
history for you forever. What decision will you make?
Pastor Tripp Finch
Willow Creek Baptist Church
One Act of Obedience
Christian church plans
OTLD branches closed
Loop committee to meet
Holy Week Services
A community Sunrise Service will be held at the
football stands at the fairgrounds on Easter morning,
April 16, at 7 a.m.
Other local services planned for this week are:
Willow Creek Baptist Church
April 16, Easter morning worship, 10:45 a.m.
Hopeful Saints (All Saints Episcopal/Hope Lutheran)
April 12, Wednesday Evening Prayer, All Saints, 6
April 13, Maundy Thursday worship with communion
at Hope at 6 p.m., followed by a simple agape meal
April 14, Good Friday worship following the Way of
the Cross at All Saints at 6 p.m.
April 16, Easter Sunday festival worship at Hope
at 10 a.m. with baptisms and communion, preceded by
breakfast from 8:30-9:30 and followed by an egg hunt.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish:
April 13, Holy Thursday Mass, 7 p.m.
April 14, Good Friday Passion of the Lord, 7 p.m.
April 16, Easter Sunday Mass, 11 a.m.
St. William’s Catholic Church
April 16, Easter Sunday Mass, 8:45 a.m.
Heppner Christian Church
April 14, multi-church Good Friday service, 7 p.m.
An offering will be taken for the Neighborhood Center.
April 16, Easter morning worship at 10:45 a.m., pre-
ceded by breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
The Loop Morrow County Transportation advisory
committee will meet April 18 at 3 p.m. in the Bartholomew
Building in Heppner.
Agenda items to include but are not limited to ap-
proval of the January 31, 2017 minutes, ridership num-
Willow Creek Park District will have a regular board
bers, state agreement, committee appointment and other meeting Monday, April 17, at 5:15 p.m. at Heppner City
items for the good of the order.
Hall. The public is invited.
Park district to meet