New Life and Resurrection are Happening!

Our celebration on Easter Sunday features the most positive of all Christian messages: “Jesus Christ has risen, the Lord has risen indeed!” It is a message that is celebrated by all that we do, both in our service and worship on Sunday mornings. And the reality of this message is seen as our church is growing and coming alive. Like Ezekiel’s image of a valley of dry bones, God is breathing new life into us. The bones are shaking and signs of the resurrection are occurring, but it is not without growing pains. Gerald Hughes in his book, “The God of Surprises” mentions three features that are common in all of the resurrection accounts. The most common feature he pointed out is that before Christ appeared everyone was in a negative mood: the women who came to the tomb, came only expecting to embalm Jesus; the disciples on the road to Emmaus are sad and disillusioned; the disciples in the upper room are afraid and living behind closed doors; and Thomas is in doubt. In every case, their pain and disillusionment revealed their poverty of spirit and need of God. Yet in each person our Lord’s love met them in the midst of their despair and led them to a life-transforming faith.

The second common feature of those who came to faith was the slowness of those to whom Christ appears to recognize that He really was the risen Christ. The disciples on the road to Emmaus walked several miles with him before they recognized him. Those of us at Christ Church as we have met in small groups during our Lenten programs, were made more aware that Christ is a living presence in every detail of our lives. But this awareness has grown slowly. We at Christ Church have come to realize, week by week, that the church really is the living body of Christ, a place where the presence of Christ is revealed through us to others. So if your spiritual progress seems to be slow, don’t worry. You are in good company. In fact, it is comfort to know we have many among us who are willing and ready to support you.

A final feature common to the resurrection is that those to whom Christ appeared are commissioned to go and tell others. For us, it is by our daily witness to a life lived in the grace of giving and serving others through our individual vocations and ministry. Our Lenten programs have encouraged us to discover the life of Christ as he lives and abides in us, empowering us to fulfill his will and purpose.

God is calling us to a glorious future—a future that requires that each live in joyful obedience to his will and plan. Let the miracle happen, and may it continue in each and every one of us. Alleluia, the Lord is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Grace and peace,

Stephen Becker

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