Pastor’s Keyboard: Blessed Easter! The Lord is Risen! The Lord has Risen! And at every moment, He calls us to “Rise with Him and In Him!” The circumstances of this Easter Morning are not as they have ever been in our lifetime before and, most likely, they are not what they will ever be again. Yet for those who Know the Lord “All things work together for good to those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:21. Not some things but ALL things! Though we don’t understand and though we experience suffering and, perhaps, doubt, He does not leave us or abandon us or those we love.
Today, we celebrate that the Lord rose from the dead, and He desires that we arise with him. But how can we arise with Him daily? We can do so by dying to our will, to our way, and to sin as well as to anything that distracts us from trusting in Him completely in ALL circumstances. We are reminded by our Lord’s death and resurrection that this life and everything in it is finite. We were made for the Infinite. If we cling tightly to this life and the things of this life, we are bound to suffer and despair when they are taken away from us. But if our hope and desire is tied to God to the glory and joys of eternity with Him who is unending Love personified, and to all those united to Him, then we will have a joy that shines out even in the deepest darkness and circumstances of this life.
So yes, this Easter Sunday is not like any we have or ever will experience again. Yet its message of promise and hope-filled encouragement is the same as ever. God is eternal and He offered us hope for eternity with Him and all those we love who accept His invitation to be with Him. The adventure of this life will continue now, yet it will never be as it was. We know now like never before that as powerful as our nation has been, as technologically advanced as our world is today compared to the past, as wealthy and healthy as our economy may seem, and as much as we take care of our health through eating right and exercise, something can come along, even from another part of the earth, and take it all away.
In the end, there is only one Rock that we can stand on, only one Source of endless life and joy that we can hope in, only one Hope worth investing everything in, and it is not a country, a technological advance, a bank account or job, nor any other man made thing. It is the Risen Christ! He is the One, who loves us into existence and who is always calling us to rise in the expectation and hope of eternity with Him! This Hope is why we can rejoice, sing and laugh in ALL circumstances.
Let us make a recommitment to invest most in our relationship with Him. Then, we will become the saints He made us to be and who will lead others to also have this hope and faith. The Lord is Risen today! May we do the same!
Your Father, brother, and fellow disciple,
Fr. Scott Woods