Christ Is Riisen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Depending on when you read this, we are either just about to celebrate or have just finished celebrating the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. Let’s assume that, since this is the April Newsletter and Easter was on the 31st of March, it’s after Easter so we can ask the follow-up questions: SO WHAT and her sister NOW WHAT?
SO WHAT? Christ is risen, but I have to go back to work and school on Monday. Bills are still due. The surgery is still scheduled. Life doesn’t seem to have magically gotten any easier as a result of my participation in the events of “Holy Week.” SO WHAT? Perspective. In the short-term, the resurrection of Christ shows me what I might have trouble seeing in the world around me: that God loves me. Plain and simple. If Christ defeated death for me, then God must love me. And if God loves me, than he is concerned about me today. In the medium-term, I know that the same God who died for me before I was born has my life in his control—in the proverbial palm of his hand. I can live with quiet confidence that everything that happens to me has passed through the incomprehensible filter of God’s love and wisdom, the very same filter that caused Jesus to be born, die on the cross and rise from the dead. In the long-term, you don’t have to worry about staying dead forever. Christ came back from the dead and has not died again. He has promised that what has happened to him will happen to you. And not only will you be raised as was our Lord, but you will be raised to a life in the New Creation—where sin and the effects of sin will removed permanently.
NOW WHAT? Some of you have spent a lot of time in church over the last week—Palm Sunday, Midweek Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. You’ve heard the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for you today, tomorrow and forever. Now what? Hide it under a bushel? No! But what do you do next?
Take this for what it’s worth: friendly advice from someone who has benefitted more than most from Christian fellowship his entire adult life. Keep coming to church. Make it a priority. Next, find a group in church that is interesting to you—either because of what they are doing or because you really enjoy the company of the people who are involved…or ideally both. It could be the women’s Bible Study or the Men’s Bible Breakfast, you might want to inquire about becoming a Stephen Minister, or helping out with Sunday School, working with the Trustees, helping start an LWML chapter, or get on the bowling or softball team. Whatever it is, find something to do with people from church outside of Sunday morning where you will develop friendships centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that give you a way to use your Godgiven gifts to make the good news of Jesus known to people who may have never heard it before.
Last, but not least, (and many of you have been doing an excellent job at this lately!) invite people to come to church! It might be awkward sitting someone down and having a “come-to-Jesus” talk with them. But it is less awkward to say: “I’d like for you to come to church with me.” Let us do the talking. We’ll even throw in doughnuts and coffee.
I hope that your lives were blessed by the events of Holy Week, that the Holy Spirit was working in your lives as you contemplated the death and resurrection of Christ for you. And I hope that, in some small way, this newsletter article got you thinking about what comes after Easter. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or give me a call.
All the best,
Pastor Duncan McLellan