I’ve given myself more than a week to reflect back over Holy Week and the Easter Sunday experience. Now I think I can speak without danger of hyperbole. And yet, what I’ve gleaned may well seem like exaggeration to some. In all honesty however, I think that it is not.
It was such a joy to observe the Sacrament of Baptism at both the 9 am and 11 am worship services. George Crispin and his mother Nellie were received into the Professing Membership of the Church at the 9 am Praise service. Both come professing their faith in Jesus Christ. George was asking for Baptism. Nellie had been baptized as an infant. What a scene that was to see mother and child both proclaiming Christ as their Lord and becoming connected to this local body of Christ. It was very exciting to see our Youth and Youth Volunteers coming to stand with George and to lay hands on him to pray as he was baptized!
Then at the 11 o’clock service Kevin and Courtney Pickel- simer joined the church along with Johnny Davis. Then, I had the joy of baptizing the Pickelsimer s children, Kensley and McCallan. It was a privilege to baptize young Jacob Ford with all the Ford family joining the Pickelsimer and Callihan families to stand for these children. They were making a promise to be guides in the faith to these children until that day when these boys and girls are ready for themselves to claim the Faith in Jesus Christ.
God’s Spirit permeated this Easter Sunday as we welcomed guests both from out of town and from right here in our area. We were blessed with wonderful music to stir our spirits as we heard once again how the women came to the tomb early in the morning while things were still very dark.
I’m not so much of an early morning person, but I could hardly sleep as I anticipated the Easter Sunrise Service. I was not disappointed as about seventy five other souls joined me to greet the sun and imagine ourselves back into that Garden so long ago. It is good to see friends who come back each year to be part of this service at the Gazebo in the Park across from the church. It seems to be growing each year.
Then the week after Easter Sunday, as I was preparing my sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter, I read something which stopped me in my tracks. Whoever I was reading said that Jesus was not the only one who was resurrected in the Easter Story. Think about it. The Disciples of Jesus must have felt so ashamed and afraid in the wake of Jesus’ death. After all, they had been such cowards and betrayed Jesus so blatantly.
Yet, the first word to the disciples from the mouth of the resurrected Christ was “Peace.” Think of it. That is what the risen Christ brings to us – His Peace.
To all of our graduates for 2014, I offer my congratulations. And I pray for you this Peace of Christ in whatever you do.