Posted on Apr 04, 2018 by Pastor Dave Whetter
I pray that you have had a blessed week and experienced a joyous Easter Day.
We survived Lent, celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, and now we are to proclaim his resurrection to the world during the season of Easter. Remember the Easter Proclamation? “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed, alleluia!” As people of The Resurrection, we are challenged to proclaim these words not just during worship, but to the world.
These words are powerful words of promise and hope. When the disciples first heard Jesus speak of his death and resurrection, "they kept the matter to themselves" (Mark 9:10). Eventually, though, they realized the news was too good to keep to themselves, so although the text says, “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (Mark 16:8), they obviously told others because we are here to tell the same story. The same ought to be true for us today; Jesus Christ has been unleashed into the world, and we ought to want to share that amazing news with the world.
Because Christ is risen and is in the world, we have all we need to embrace life's complexities and uncertainties with a living, daring confidence in God's grace. The risen Christ goes ahead of you and me, meeting us in the most surprising faces and unexpected places. Christ's resurrection puts us right where God wants us to be -- in the thick of life.
Brothers and sisters, I know things have been and are challenging here at Salem, and I know the fear of making radical changes in how we do ministry and maybe even where we do ministry can be overpowering, but because Christ is risen, we can be assured that if we do our best to follow Christ first we will succeed. What will success look like? Well, it may mean we grow in the number of people that worship with us, and wouldn’t that be cool! It also might not look like that at all; it might mean that we don’t grow in the number of worshippers, but that we have the ability to serve more people, to feed more of those around us who are hungry, or maybe it will mean we look nothing like we look today. Whatever “success” ends up looking like, our goal ought to be to do and go where we believe Christ has gone ahead of us.
That is the promise we heard this past Easter morning, that Christ has gone ahead of us. The young man in white said to the women in the empty tomb, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you” (16:7).
As we discern our call over the next few months, I pray we come to recognize where our “Galilee” is, because Jesus is waiting for us there and it is there we will experience the real joy of The Resurrection.
Have a blessed week!