April 2015

Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.
[Luke 24:5-6]

Greetings in the name of Christ;

Jesus dies so that we may live, making the ultimate sacrifice to cleanse the world of sin, but that is not where the story ends.

There is a song called “No Greater Love” (the closest I could come to the writer is Lee Williams) written using bible verses from John 3 and 15. One verse says, “Jesus went to Calvary to save a wrench, like you and me; that’s love, that’s love”. John Newton wrote of “How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me”.

How wonderful that God loved wretches like us, undeserving souls, to cover us with His blood so that we could also rise from our sinful ways and live a life befitting such a sacrifice.

It is never too late for any of us to resurrect our lives. Some things are meant to die and stay buried, but that does not mean we cannot rise about them. Those relationships that have continued to pull us down, build decay within, and is burying us alive, we need to let die! It is not the relationship that is sustaining our life, but in fact, sapping the life from us. We are stronger than we believe and we will rise from it. Our spirit and belief in love will be resurrected once we stop fixating on what is already dead!

The past is the past and there is nothing we can do about it but learn from it. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Fear, doubt, and regret are trying to steal our joy. The mistakes we made in the past helped to forge the building blocks of our future. We can’t let past transgressions fool us into thinking we are unworthy or undeserving. We are as deserving as anyone.

Did you know that Easter is 50 days long? By the time you receive this newsletter, we would have celebrated Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.

While we observe the 40 days of Lent, we do not seem to be very good at observing the 50 days of Easter. We celebrate Easter Sunday with sunrise services (this year some of us will be attending sunrise services at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, we will be baptizing Remy-Jax Harris, and celebrating Holy Communion), but we seem to go back to “business as usual” the following Sundays.

The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost, the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church (Acts 2).

Easter is also more than just an extended celebration of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. In the early church, Lent was a season for new converts to learn about the faith and prepare for baptism on Easter Sunday. The initial purpose of the 50-day Easter season was to continue the faith formation of new Christians.

Today, this extended season gives us time to rejoice and experience what it means when we say Christ is risen. It is the season when we remember our baptisms and how through this sacrament we are, according to the liturgy, “incorporated into Christ’s might acts of salvation.” As “Easter people,” we also celebrate and ponder the birth of the Church and gifts of the Spirit (Pentecost), and how we are to live as faithful Disciples of Christ. (UMC.org)

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

May the grace of Jesus Christ increase in you this lent.

In faithful service,
Don Baker

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

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