(Shown is Pastor Doug ((our Interim Pastor)) and his wife, Elaine. Pastor is serving Bethlehem Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church of Florence- he has been there 29 years. He is serving as Secretary of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and serves on the Synod Council and Synod Council Executive Committee. This is the sixth time he has served congregations as their Interim Pastor.
He is the Chief Deputy Coroner of Florence County and serves as Chair of the Florence County Emergency Planning Committee. He recently retired from 23 years as an EMT on the Florence Rescue Squad.
Pastor Doug and Elaine have been married 12 years. Pastor Doug enjoys reading novels, traveling, working in his yard, and being with his famiy.
Pastor Doug is committed to making sure every Thursday and Sunday we will have someone leading our service while we continue our search towards a permanent pastor. He will also take care of funerals and weddings and assist the church council.)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Jesus was right! He had told his disciples what would happen, “You will all become deserters because of me this night” (Matt. 26:31). And he was right. Judas, Peter, and the other ten all deserted Jesus.
It was the night of his arrest. And the disciples all fled, leaving Jesus alone. Their own safety, their own comfort, their own agendas were more important than the promise they had made to Jesus that they would stay with him no matter what happened. And as the hours of Thursday night turned into Friday morning and then afternoon, it was only the disciple John who mustered up enough courage to show his face to Jesus before Jesus died. By then Judas was dead and the other ten were hiding, protecting their own butts.
What about you? You say that you are a believer in who Jesus is. You say that you are one of his followers. Where will you be during the last days before Jesus dies on that cross -- for you? Will you also be a deserter? Will you be so busy with the other things in your life that you will not be there with Jesus as he dies for you? Remember Jesus will die for your sin, for your broken promises, for your desertion. Or will this be the year when you will be there. When you will be there for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. When you will share his last meal with him on Thursday night. When you will watch him die for you on Friday. Will you be there for Jesus, or will you become a deserter again this year?
I know that so many of you will be with Jesus when he rises from the dead on Easter Sunday morning -- and what a glorious morning and celebration it will be. But how can you fully celebrate Easter if you have not walked with Jesus those last days of his life? I don’t think you can fully appreciate what Jesus did for you on Easter if you were not with him on those last days of his life.
Don’t be a deserter. Come, and let’s walk together with our Lord as he lives, and dies, and then rises to new life for us.
Pastor Doug Johnson
Office Phone: 715-528-4851
Home Phone: 715-528-4458
Cell Phone: 715-938-0962
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 535, Florence, WI 54121