April 2013

The season of Easter urges us to be on the look out for signs of new life.  Within the gospel narratives, signs of new life can be extraordinary or they can be ordinary.  Hearing an angel proclaim “He is not here!  He is risen!” is pretty remarkable.  To see the risen Christ, to be invited to touch the nail marks in his hands and the wound in his side, must have been overwhelming.  To see the Lord Jesus ascend into heaven smacks of the spectacular.  However, other signs of new life in the gospels are far more mundane - a stone rolled away, an empty tomb, bread broken at table, fish shared with friends, a mere breath that bestows the Holy Spirit.  Some signs are so subtle, so ambiguous, that if you’re not focused you may miss them entirely.  (Remember those who interpreted the empty tomb to mean a stolen body).  Easter invites us to look with the eyes of faith and see the new life that God intends for all of creation.

       Flowers are now poking their heads through the dirt.  Tulips and daffodils are visible in neighborhood yards.  New life emerges from winter’s cold and snow.  The church sanctuary shines with a new coat of paint, a beautiful yellow sheen.  The fellowship hall proclaims the glory of creation through the mounted photos taken by the Rev. Bill Siktberg.  Eyes glimmer and minds sizzle with various hopes and dreams for revitalizing the face of God’s house.  A core of church leadership have committed themselves to participate in Vital Congregations training; meeting monthly since January as a covenant community to study and grow as Christians while envisioning new ways of doing mission and ministry for Jesus.  Recently, friends and loved ones have been commended to God’s eternal care in the confident hope and expectation of new and eternal life for those we hold dear.  Area families are offered new hope and new life through gifts of food and assistance with pressing bills for their homes, cars, utilities.  New people have joined us in our Sunday morning worship of God and, by their presence, the spirit of the congregation is enlivened.  On a daily basis, the sick are prayed for by those who trust in God’s power and God’s grace and the Lord sustains them with his compassionate presence and steadfast love. All around us there are signs of new life for those who have eyes to see.  Some may seem mundane.  Some may appear ambiguous.  But for those who have eyes to see, God is always at work, doing new things in our midst.

Hear these words of assurance:

“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.  I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

 

“Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”  (Luke 24:6-7)

 

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

“And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”  (Revelation 21:5)

Our God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  Our God is the only source of new life for us and for the world.  In this Easter season, may we look with the eyes of faith and see the new things God is doing in our midst.  In this season of Easter and beyond, may we see and celebrate the gift of new life that Christ’s resurrection proclaims, that gift of new life that brings hope to us and to all the world.  God bless you with Easter joy!

                                                                          In Christ’s Service,

                                                                             Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff