Last month we walked the final steps of our Lenten Journey and met Jesus at the cross. Over the past few weeks our worship services have guided us in a better understanding of Easter. What does the cross really mean to
us? How do we use Christ’s sacrifice to grow in faith with God? Above all, how do we take the Easter story and make it personal?
In the days after his death, Jesus came to his disciples to give them comfort and hope. Much of who we are as Christians comes after the “crucifixion experience”. We are challenged as people of faith to believe in what
comes next. For Christ not only died for our sins but also lives eternal!
As the Easter story continues, we encounter Jesus in the upper room with the disciples. In John 20:19-31, Jesus greets his friends with words of peace. This is the first time they experience the risen Lord. Verses 21- 23 call us all to witness Christ’s victory but also challenge us to a greater mission of faith:
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins
of any, they are retained.”
In the coming weeks we will continue to celebrate the Easter season. This is a time toconsider what it means to be witness to the empty cross and called to service to all.
We have an open communion table because we believe that all that have faith are welcome to be part of our church family. It is also a lesson of what could be if we focus on rules and doctrine and forget to notice the workings of the Spirit. If we believe the church is a living presence, then we must also believe that God is giving us new lessons each day. We must have the courage to believe when God is working in our lives. We must be prayerful
when we encounter issues that make our faith waver. We must be open to just how big Christ’s grace and God’s love is!
Our tradition calls us to be people of grace and gratitude. We can share the fullness of Christ through our mission as a church. How will you live out your faith as “Easter People”? What is your story of resurrection and
life? How can your love of God transform others? Even the smallest gifts and bring people to the faith and see just how profound Christ is. He is the Lord of all. It is our job to share this good news and live peace in all that we do!
Rev. Julie Sterling