He is not here; He has risen! (Luke 24:6, NIV).
Good morning Followers of Christ,
The Easter victory of Jesus Christ continues to send shockwaves down through the centuries, calling people of every age to be survivors with Him in the ongoing battle between good and evil. "Rejoice, heavenly powers! sing, choirs of angels; exult all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ our King is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!"
The Empty Tomb, and not Calvary, is the end, or rather the beginning of the Story of New Life. We come together in worship because we accept the responsibility for overcoming evil, and for conquering death in the ways it has invaded our world. We will not stand by and watch God's handiwork be destroyed or spoiled. We will be even stronger signs of faith, hope and love for our families, for our neighbors and friends, for our coworkers. It is the Risen Christ who assures us of survival and victory.
In Baptism, we go down into the tomb with Him and emerge endowed with newness of Life. We join the survivors in the Community of Faith that is the Church. We make our journey in this company of believers, fortified by prayer, worship and sacramental encounters. And we remember especially during the coming Fifty Days of Easter we remember that In and through Jesus we have confronted evil, sin, disaster and death and we have overcome. In Him, we will continue to survive until He ushers us into the fullness of perfect life, where Easter is forever!
We need to hold on to Easter, and not let it slip through our minds and hearts with no noticeable effect. Resurrection faith is a marvelous gift, if we are open to receive it. It can change our lives and lead us to become the forgiving, peace filled people that Jesus wants us to be.
The shattering earthquake of Easter should make it impossible for us to continue being comfortable and complacent. Like any earthquake, it is just part of the story - it is within the aftershocks of that earthquake that Jesus invites us to share his new life - here and now. He offers us the strength to break old habits of thinking and acting, and the vision to re-examine all that we do and are in the light of that Easter Dawn. It is this brilliant and undiminished light of Resurrection Faith that the Risen Lord calls us to live.
Christ is Risen; He is Risen indeed!
Pastor Clarissa and Brother Martin