A word from Pastor Marla
We are Easter People!
Joan and her husband were going out of state for several weeks and they asked the neighbor’s nine-year-old son, Mike, to care for their dog while they were gone. They explained that the duties included feeding, grooming, walking the dog, and most of all, plenty of love and playtime with him. Then they asked Mike what the job would be worth to him. Mike thought for just a moment and said, “I’ll give you 10 bucks!” Mike was so happy to be chosen for this task that he was willing to pay them for the opportunity!
Peter, one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus and later one of the greatest leaders of the early church, wrote to the earliest Christians, around 64 AD, telling them that they were chosen by God for a special purpose that would bring them joy. “But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” I Peter 2:9 (New Century Version)
In Christ, they had been lifted up and freed from the fear of death for through the resurrection of Jesus Christ: death had lost its sting – the grave had lost its victory! Peter was, indeed, addressing people whose lives had been transformed by the Easter event! God had been faithful to send a Messiah who had conquered fear and death! And they believed!! Peter said to them (says to us Christ-followers today): “You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” I Peter 1:8-9 (NCV)
Easter changed the world! Easter still changes the world even for those who do not recognize it! Peter reminded the early Christians to hold on to the promises of the resurrection and to draw strength for their trials from their faith and hope placed in Jesus. For after all, as Easter People, they were born to new life in Christ – a new life which nothing could destroy!
Every year I am amazed and thrilled by the newness of life manifested through the blossoming trees, bushes and flowers. Look around, the magnolia trees will soon be in full bloom and the weeping cherry trees, which now look dead, will bloom soon in glorious flowers! Every year Spring reminds us that God can bring new life to the old and to the young, to the lost and to the confused, to the living and to the dying! And wonders of wonders, God most often uses we Christians –we Easter People as his chosen agents to do so!
We have a noble calling – we are called to live in such a way that even unbelievers may see our kind, loving and good deeds, and attribute our actions to God working in and through our lives. To be chosen brings joy, privilege and reassurance of salvation but it also brings challenges and responsibilities. We are to live holy and reverent lives – aware of God’s presence in our lives and in the lives of others. Our lives are a continuous journey with Jesus, and our loyalty is beyond ourselves and certainly beyond this world! We are given eyes to see things in ‘light of eternity’ and eternity begins the moment we believe! As Easter people, we see that what we do and say today has an impact on someone else’s eternity!
Dear Ones, as Easter People, this is the task before us – the one for which we were chosen, and here are the duties: to live a holy life which draws others closer to Jesus; to live reverently, aware of God’s presence giving thanks through your words and actions for God’s faithfulness to you; and to ‘in light of eternity’, love others as if your life and theirs depends upon it!
What is the job worth to you?
In Christ’s love,