The Witness
Volume 40, Issue 15
April 13, 2022
REMINDER: There are NO Wednesday activities tonight.
"The Third Day"
As we move closer to the sorrow of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, followed by the joy and fulfillment of Easter Sunday, the question that arises for me is, Why did it take three days? As echoed throughout the entirety of the New Testament, Jesus died on a cross and rose on the third day. Paul described it this way in his first letter to the Corinthians: "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).” Why did it take Jesus three days to rise from the grave? Why not rise on the same day he was crucified? Why did his family, friends, and disciples have to go through three excruciating days of grief and sorrow?

The theological significance of the number three goes all the way back to the story of creation in Genesis. On the third day, God created dry land and vegetation to fill it: plants yielding seeds and trees bearing fruit (Genesis 1:11-13). Three days later, God formed humanity out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). In both instances, out of the ground God created new life on the third day. The significance of the third day continued to appear in Israel’s story all throughout the Old Testament. After Abraham believed God called him to climb a mountain and sacrifice his son, Isaac, God provided a ram on the third day. After Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, God told Moses he would come down to Mount Sinai and make his covenant with his people on the third day. When Jonah was swallowed by the large fish, he remained in the fish for three days before being spewed out onto dry land on the third day.

All throughout the Old Testament, it was on the third day that new life was formed, redemption was found, and restoration was achieved. There is a reason Jesus used the image of the “third day” 21 times throughout the Gospels as he predicted his own death. He knew his hearers would understand its significance and find hope in the long history of God’s salvific work on the third day. And yet, I am still left with the question of, why three days? Though the historical and theological symbolism for this number is immensely significant, why was it necessary for Jesus’ followers to undergo three whole days of agonizing grief before experiencing the joy of the resurrection? The timeline of events from Good Friday to Easter Sunday must have felt like an eternity to them.

Several years ago, there was a series of commercials for the candy, Skittles, that revolved around the phrase “Taste the Rainbow.” In one of the commercials, a man looked up on a sunny day as Skittles began to fall from the sky like rain and said, “No rain, no rainbow.” Though the commercial itself was intended to be a silly and light-hearted attention grabber, I heard an important theological lesson in his words. Just as a rainbow requires rain, a resurrection requires a crucifixion; no cross, no empty tomb. Without the sorrow and suffering of Golgotha, the joy and fulfillment of Easter would not exist. One requires the other. And maybe, there was something that happened in the three days between Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection that allowed his followers to fully experience the restoration of Sunday. Just as Jonah needed three days in the belly of a fish in order to be prepared for his mission in Nineveh, maybe Jesus’ earliest followers needed those three days following his crucifixion in order to be prepared for his resurrection. What if the sorrow they experienced during that time provided an opportunity that could only be accomplished through grief? If God was able to use their grief as an opportunity, maybe he can do the same with our grief. I hope you will join us this Easter Sunday as we discuss the “Crisis of Grief,” and the way God was able to use it in a unique way that allowed his earliest followers to receive their resurrected Lord and the new life he achieved on the third day.
-- Travis
Tomorrow, April 14th: Maundy Thursday
We hope that you will join us tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary for our Tenebrae service (service of shadows). We will remember the Last Supper by observing communion and will walk through scripture and events leading to the crucifixion and burial. Come worship with us through this solemn service. Childcare (birth - 2nd grade) is available.
This Sunday, April 17th: Easter Sunday
Please join us in a resurrection celebration this Easter Sunday! Travis' message is "Crisis of Grief," and the scripture reference is John 20:1-18.

The Cherub and Sonshine Choirs will be performing at the 11:00 AM service, and we'll also be celebrating a baptism at the 11:00 AM service. What a day to celebrate our resurrected Lord!
Thrive Student Ministry
Schedule Changes: No Wednesday night activities for youth tonight. No Extreme or Praise Band on Easter Sunday, April 17th. We will return to our regular schedule the following week with our Wednesday Night Worship series at 6:15 PM and our regular Sunday schedule.

Sunday, April 24th - All students interested in participating in or learning more about our Summer Mission Trip to Charleston, SC, please join us at 4:00 PM in the youth room.

We had a wonderful DNow weekend! Thank you to our church family for their support, prayers, and encouragement this weekend. We had 40 students participate, led by 10 college and young adult students, fed by two incredible Pinions (Ashleigh and Tim), and housed by 4 very patient families (thank you, Sinks, Dixons, Berrys, and Boozes!). We worked on 10 different local mission projects and collected over 300 items for our Blessing Box! Our students learned about being a light in the darkness this week and how to carry the light of Christ with them wherever they go. We worshiped with Edges Worship, heard moving messages by Kaidyn Settles and Deed Murphy, spent the morning providing help and support to our community, ate lots and lots of food, played lots of basketball and group games, and did not do a lot of sleeping! We look forward to sharing more about the weekend with you on Sunday, May 1. Thank you to all of our parents, leaders, and students who made this weekend possible!
Wednesday Dinner April 20th
All Wednesday night activities resume April 20th, when we will offer a Vegetable Dinner: baked mac & cheese, pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, green vegetable, dinner, and dessert. Please sign up by 5 PM Tuesday, April 19th.
Guest Missionaries: The Zubtsov Family
Make plans now to join us Sunday, April 24th, when Ukrainian refugees, the Zubtsov family, will be with us in worship at both morning services. Bogdan and Zhenia, along with their three children, Stesha, Thomas, & Leo, have served as home missionaries in a Christian sports camp in Ukraine. They fled to Germany when the war began and have since been able to come to the US, in part thanks to donations from the VBC family. God has put Bogdan and Zhenia in the unique position of being able to share their story and raise funds for friends, families, and missions remaining in Ukraine. Please click here for the Zubtsov family's testimony.

Please join us for worship the last Sunday of this month, when we will hear from Bogdan and Zhenia in person. We plan to take up a love offering for them that day. Children's worship is available for ages 4 years old through 5th graders.
Wednesday Women
Wednesday Women's Bible Study will begin again April 27th, 10:00 - 11:30 AM in the small dining room. This session will explore the second season of The Chosen, as well as take a deeper dive into the Sermon on the Mount. Please sign up in the church office and make note if you would like for us to order your book ($14/each).
JOY Seniors
April 26th JOY Seniors Luncheon: You do not want to miss the April JOY Seniors Luncheon. Our program is being presented by singer/songwriter Jon Weems. Due to a diving accident, he was left paralyzed from the neck down (C6 quadriplegic). He has most of the use of his arms, but not his hands or fingers. Using typing sticks and a sequencer, he creates music one note at a time. The box lunch is being provided by Canteen. Please note the deadline to sign up is Wednesday, April 20th. Mark your lunch selections at the JOY Seniors table in the Welcome Center.

Morehead City Trip May 10th - 12th: The deadline to sign up for the Morehead City trip is rapidly approaching. We must have 25 people signed up by Wednesday, April 20th for this trip to be a go. Please sign up and invite friends/neighbors to join us for this fun trip.
Worship Arts Camp at Eagle Eyrie
4th-9th Grades Completed
July 11-15
After a two-year break, Worship Arts Camp has been scheduled for July 11-15. The week of camp is filled with music, arts, and crafts, and rolled in a ton of games and laughs. The cost is $200 for the week (including meals). Please see Chris for details and with any questions. Typically, we leave VBC at Noon on Monday and return by 2 PM on Friday afternoon. The campers will stay in a lodge together and eat our meals together. They can select the classes that pique their interest. Parents can come and visit during the week. There will be a talent show on Wednesday evening and two musical programs (Thursday night and Friday morning). The registration forms are usually ready by mid-May. However, a sign-up sheet is on the door of Chris’ office. Ask other parents about Worship Arts Camp. Some of them have been campers themselves. The best part is, if you are lucky, you will get to see what Chris’ hair looks like when he wakes up in the mornings- fabulous and worth the price!
Geneva Dillon
PO Box 24
Daleville VA 24083
Thank you to the Pairs & Spares Class for their donation to Egg My Yard for Children's Camp.

Thank you to the Mary Martha Class for their donation to the Food Pantry.
Easter Offering
This year's Easter Offering will be equally split between the following two ministries:
  • VBC Blessing Box - The Blessing Box is the large, red, plastic box located in the edge of the Breezeway. Several times per week, the box is stocked with nonperishable food items and various toiletries for folks to come by and take what they need from the box. This ministry operates independently of the Food Pantry and does not share any Food Pantry funding. It is an alternative for individuals who cannot get to the Food Pantry during its designated hours, or who might need items in between Food Pantry visits. This local ministry has become important in meeting the needs of our community.
  • BGAV Ukrainian Relief - The BGAV is collecting funds, which are being channeled through the European Baptist Federation, to meet the needs of Ukrainians through established partners. The BGAV has asked for both financial and prayer support for these efforts. Please click here for regular updates. This national relief effort shares the love of Christ to a hurting, war-torn world.
Can You Help?
Please sign up to help out in Children's Worship and/or the Nursery. We need volunteers every Sunday. The more volunteers we can secure, the more we can spread the love for both our children and volunteers. Click here for the sign-up sheet, with dates available through May.
Pillows on Patrol
Thanks to everyone who has supported this project by making pillows and blankets, as well as donating new fleece blankets. All of our pillow kits have been claimed! The deadline to return all completed projects is April 24th. These pillows and blankets are being donated to local police officers to give to children they encounter in officer involved calls.
Youth Choir Mission Tour Fundraiser
We have sturdy, wooden, handmade bird houses available for sale at the Welcome Center ($20/each), with all proceeds benefitting the Youth Choir. Now is a perfect time to place a birdhouse outside and fully enjoy the spring season.
Blessing Box
Items needed for the Blessing Box: peanut butter, syrup, and paper towels. There is a plastic tub at the Missions Tables for donations. Thanks so much for supporting folks in our community through the ministry of the Blessing Box!