Interactive Easter Devotional 2021

At Zuanich Point Park

For this Interactive Devotional, we have chosen five different points at Zuanich Park on the Bellingham waterfront where you can walk and pause to reflect on the resurrection of Jesus. Use the map below to guide you as you either print this page or use a smart phone at the park.

Because gatherings are discouraged feel free to walk the route at any time throughout the day. For those who simply can’t make it to the park physically, we included a photo of each location with the devotional content so you may participate from home.

1 2 3 4 5

1, Vessels of Resurrection Hope, by Chris Eltrich

Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth.…On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life….and the LORD closed it behind him. 
(Genesis 6.6; 13-16)

From your vantage point you will see a fleet of boats safely harbored in relative tranquility. In the background the sun is rising behind Mt. Baker and a new day is dawning—new life and possibilities are poured out with Easter grace and resurrection power.

Choose a boat to focus upon.

Chances are, the boat you’re looking at has left the harbor more than once, for that is the point of a boat. In the harbor all feels small and safe. The tides are predictable, the breakwater protects from surf and storm. But the boat has likely been out past the jetty. Perhaps it’s cruised past the San Juan Islands and through the Straight of Juan de Fuca, or into the great Pacific Ocean. Once out of sheltered port, a boat—even a massive cargo ship—is but a toy at the mercy of much more powerful forces and the brutality of weather, circumstance, ignorance, or evil.

Much of life feels like being a boat tossed about. At times we feel in control but it doesn’t take much to remind us that when circumstances change we have little recourse in and of ourselves to survive on our own. 

Can you think of a stormy season in your life? Is there a grief or a pain that you carry as part of your voyage in life? Are there regrets you have or laments over the brokenness of the world?

When the world was overcome by chaos in the days of Noah, God provided a boat—a safe vessel for the people to survive. God himself closed the hatch to seal the people in safety.

On this resurrection Sunday, we rejoice that like Noah’s ark, Jesus promises us new life and a safe harbor when he makes all things new. On that day, with the light of God illuminating the mountains and waters—on that day, he will wipe away every tear and repair the broken places. On that day, Jesus will breathe resurrection life into our new bodies and will bid us come and rest in the safe harbor of his love. 

He is risen! And so shall we be also. Rejoice!

2, by Abby Stocker

Whereas the cross is the most common symbol of Christ in the church today, the church in the first few centuries after Jesus’s death had a mosaic of symbols and signs to invoke Christ: a fish, a sheep (with Christ as the shepherd), and of course the cross. Each carried a nuanced message about who Christ is and how he interacts with us. According to their writings and the art they left behind, the Christians of the early church saw crosses embedded everywhere—in trees, in builders’ tools, in the human bodily frame, in the masts of ships in harbor, in the top of anchors (like the one before you)—and were reminded that God’s power extended throughout the world and their lives. And consequently, they saw Christ everywhere, in their “everyday, ordinary life—their sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around” daily lives (Rom 12:1 MSG). 

Hebrews 6, talking about the certainty of God’s promises to us and their foundation in God’s promise to Abraham, tells us,

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that . . . we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf 
(Hebrews 6:16–20 NIV). 

God’s promise is our source of hope, and Jesus is the one who goes before us in seeing that promise come true. For the early church, the anchor was a sign of Christ—and a reminder that the promises that God had made to his people, beginning with Abraham, were a foundation for confident hope in the future.

Where else can you think of anchors popping up as we talk, read, sing, and otherwise express our faith—pointing us back to the sureness of the hope we have in Christ? One of my favorite hymns, composed in 1834, says, “In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.” Maybe you’ve sung this song and love it, too. Maybe you’ve seen anchors or crosses in the world around you—out backpacking or taking a walk around your neighborhood or sitting on a bench at Zuanich Point Park—and been reminded that Jesus promises to be with you in the everyday, messy, beautiful details of your life.

Anchors are a symbol from everyday life—in the early church, seen in their ordinary, working, community lives; and in ours, both in the life of our society and in the life of symbols handed down to us by those earlier Christians who have added layers of meaning to Scripture and to our songs.

May you see Christ in the life around you this Easter season and be reminded of his great love, his nearness, his promises to us.

3, by Christy Wilson

Look at the waterfront across from you. Twenty years ago, the paper mill shuttered its business, and the Port of Bellingham purchased that land because it had great potential.

Our lives are like that waterfront. Let me explain…

The Bellingham waterfront has a history of prodigious industry in coal, timber, fishing, ship-building, and more. But these industries often competed for property and hastily erected structures to aid their business, without giving thought to the effects on the shoreline, the environment, or the people. The result was a discordant array of buildings, streets, docks, and wharfs. And as they grew, these industries hid misdeeds and dangers, literally burying chemical wastes and ‘progressing’ away from the damage done to indigenous peoples and wildlife.

God created people to be industrious … to create and spread his goodness and beauty. So, from a young age, we set out to be creators, do-ers. But we are broken people living in a broken world. So, we end up building broken industries that, while effective at doing a lot, unfortunately do not spread God’s goodness very well, despite our best efforts.

Eventually the waterfronts of our lives reach a moment when the industries we have constructed come to a halt … when our lives go silent and we know that something has to change.

When we hit these reckonings, we need to know that Jesus has purchased us with his love because he sees great potential in us!

And when we decide that we want our waterfronts to change from messy shorelines to harmonious lands in God’s kingdom, we should expect the process to be rather long and sometimes uncomfortable. To reach its potential, the Bellingham waterfront has needed to confront its history, assess the damage done by and to its shores, and atone for past actions and acquisitions.

Jesus will do these things in our lives when we surrender our waterfronts to him. He will ask us to tear down our former way of doing things, creating space for him to show us a better way to reflect God’s goodness. He’ll ask us to uncover the shames of our past, those done to us and those we’ve done to others. But fear not … he has the love, patience, desire, and power to heal and transform us into beautiful waterfront parks where people can gather together in community and share warm, cozy beverages together in the reflection of God’s beauty.

Look at the waterfront before you. It may seem like it’s taking forever for that shoreline to transform. It can feel like that in our lives as well.

But do you remember what that shoreline used to look like?

Do you remember what your life used to look like?

Today is the day of salvation! Surrender your waterfront to Jesus and let his resurrection live in you today!

And be confident of this: “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 1:6)

4, by Ryan Kennedy

“Do you believe?”

Jesus has a way of shaking our world view.  In John 11, Martha’s brother, Lazarus, dies.  Martha’s faith in Jesus was such that she truly believed that Jesus would have saved her brother from death from the knowledge of his performing many healing miracles.

Jesus then begins to push at her understanding of her faith.  “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus says.  Martha responds, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus simply responds, “I am the resurrection…” Jesus took all of Martha’s knowledge, faith, grief, emotions, all of her life and in four words shakes her world view, and ours too if we let him.

“I am the resurrection.”  Not, “I will show you, or teach you about, etc.”

I am

In our hustle and bustle of family, church, work, school, learning and teaching, life, we “know,” like Martha “knew,” about the resurrection.

When was the last time when we stopped and recognized that over everything Jesus is saying, “I am…”  “I am your provider, I am your answer, I am the source of your strength, I am…”

When Jesus said “I am” it freed Martha from needing to be in control.  When Jesus told her that “I am the resurrection,” she no longer had to worry.

Jesus asked Martha and asks us for one thing.  “Do you believe?” Let us open our hearts and believe once again.  Let us recognize that Jesus is saying “I am…” in different parts of our lives.  Let us respond anew and say “Yes! I believe that You are the Son of God, the Christ!”

5, by Jen Milsten

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper. 

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  
(1 Kings 19:11-13)

On the morning of the third day, the wind did not howl and rip through the garden. The earth did not tremble or rocks shatter. The sky was not illuminated by a celestial announcement of Jesus’ victory over Death. No crowd gathered in anxious anticipation, awaiting Jesus to burst forth from the tomb all aglow. No fanfare. No fireworks. Instead, quiet.  

According to the Gospel of Matthew, eventually the morning brought simple, ordinary, faithful women to the tomb. They carried spices to anoint Jesus’ decaying body with no glimmer of hope or expectation to see the tomb empty or to touch their Risen Lord. Aside from the angel’s startling yet radiant appearance, the garden remained still. Only the women were abuzz with awe and wonder. It wasn’t until they faithfully departed to bear witness to what the angel said, did they stumble into Jesus. Again, no trumpets, no fireworks, no red carpet- just Jesus and his simple greeting, a gentle whisper.

As you stand on top of this hill with (hopefully) views of the stunning mountains, the unpredictable sea, and feel the gentle wind—stop and listen. Creation can help point us to our Creator and inspire worship of Him. But, the Lord revealed Himself to Elijah not through the awesome creation, but in a gentle whisper instead.  

Jesus often appears to us as well, in the subtle whispers of our day—even days of great celebration like today. So, what is Jesus whispering to you? Where is He encouraging you?Prompting you? Step out from your cave (“tomb,” home, school) and listen for the whisper of our Risen Lord!   

He is Risen!