Easter Greetings Dear Resurrection People!
I would start this message with a “Spoilers!” disclaimer, since you are most likely reading this before we have completed our journey through Holy Week, but that would be a little silly given that Jesus’ death and resurrection is such an integral part of who we are as a people and a church.
Our theme for the Easter Vigil this year is “God makes all things new.” We chose this theme because we felt like it fit the current spirit here at Bethlehem so well. Both Pastor Laura and I are so excited about the ways that God is stirring the waters; about the energy that there is to do new ministry, and the desire to discern who God is calling us to be as a church. Sadly, though, whenever the state of organized religion as a whole is reported on in the news these days, it is done with a tenor of despair, and a healthy dose of catastrophic thinking: “Attendance is down, the church is dying, and don’t even get me started on Millennials!” Now, aside from the fact that I, myself, am a Millennial, I’ve got a few other problems with this Chicken-Little-the-sky-is-falling perspective.
G. K. Chesterton said that the church has died and risen again a thousand times because it knows a savior who knows his way out of the grave, and that is most certainly true! We have a God who is in the resurrection business. A God who reminds us that death is not something to be feared, but rather is a path to new life. A God who is indeed making all things new, opening up the windows, airing things out, and cleaning out the clutter. And we are called to do the same. As a church, and as individuals, what are the old things that we are being called to “die” to? And what are the roads of new life that we being asked to travel down? I won’t pretend to have all the answers, or even most of them, but I will say that my heart is filled with hope and joy, both because of who God is, and because of who you are. For we are a resurrection people, who follow a savior who knows his way out of the grave!
With Resurrection Hope,