What Does Easter Mean for You?
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing in the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Happy Spring! It is always nice to have something to look forward to and I am looking forward to enjoying some warmer weather. I am also looking forward to celebrating Easter here at First Church. Easter is my favorite church holy day. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that death does not have the final say in our life. We are set free from the wages of sin and death. We are given the gift of abundant and eternal life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
On a personal note, Mark and I would like to thank all of you for your support and caring during the loss of Mark’s dad Howard. Dad touched many lives, as was evident at his memorial service. He was always ready with a quip or a joke to put a smile on your face. He was very special and we will miss him dearly. Thank you for your continued prayers for us during this time.
In preparation for Easter, I have been reading some reflections on Easter and came across a quote I would like to share with you. United Methodist Bishop Ken Carter explains the importance of Easter this way, “Easter is foundational to the Christian faith. Without Easter, there is no Pentecost. Without the Gospel accounts of the resurrection, there would be no continuing narrative of the Acts of the Apostles. Without an empty tomb, there would be no hope of life after death. And without a risen Lord , there would be no great commission. Easter is foundational to the Christian faith.” (Easter Services, Sermons and Prayers, Abingdon Press 2007) Carter goes on to write that our Christian narrative is filled with hope because of Easter.
What does Easter mean for you? What does Easter mean for First Church? I think we explore those questions every time we consider who we are as Christ’s followers. Easter challenges us to live as resurrection people. It challenges us to live differently. It challenges us to be people of great hope. As I reflect on my past nine months with you, I am filled with great hope. I see so many ways in which discipleship is being lived out. I hear dreams for the church being expressed as well as ways we can be engaged in ministry with the community. We are being led into God’s hope-filled future for us!
May the Easter season be full of hope as we look towards the future together!
Grace and peace,