April, 2018 Newsletter:
Holy week is always a spiritually, emotional and physically exhausting week for me. If you asked me, yes, I would do it all over again in a second as the feeling I have gotten from the four worship services I attended and participated in and with all the time I spent in prayer it has been an out of this world experience. We have been blessed by God and the presence of God’s spirit through Jesus’ sacrificial love. It’s hard not to feel resurrected with all that we have been through. But now what do we do? Is it business as usual or has there been a change. Is there something different about your life because you have been to the cross on Good Friday, witnessed the empty tomb on Sunday, and while standing there weeping like Mary Magdalene you heard Jesus call you by name? One of my favorite quotes comes from Will Willimon who tells us that hanging around empty tombs is not what Jesus wants us to do. Jesus wants us to follow and if you think Jesus is going to hang around empty tombs and gardens in cemeteries you may need to be reminded that the gospel message is to pick up your cross, follow and go and make disciples.
Early in his ministry Jesus tried to convince some religious people that God is a God of life. But the way all the gospels end up they lead us to Golgotha. It seems that message of life didn’t get through to those who needed it the most. I love that song “Easter People Raise Your Voices” and especially in the third verse where it says, “Every day to us is Easter, with its resurrection song.”
Jesus did it for us not for himself and that is called love. He brought life through his sacrificial love. His love gave us life both here and in the eternal. The dream of a family reunion in heaven is possible if we are willing to receive his life-giving love and then give that same life-giving love in his sacrificial example. Remember that lose your life stuff and you will gain it? Jesus was very serious! He is serious because that is what he did for us.
Easter is not just a time to celebrate what Jesus has done for us, but it is also like a New Year’s resolution where we think about what we are going to do in reply to Jesus mighty acts and deeds. So, I ask you since we have tasted resurrection freedom once again how are you going to use your freedom for the sake of the gospel? Give the question some time, some prayer and some thought but above all join us for worship this coming Sunday!
Rev. Dennis Hopes
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Pastor Kim Dewey