“Christ is Risen!! Christ is Risen Indeed!!” So begins our Easter worship, and it is the central announcement of everything we do.
St. Paul writes: “Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
Without Easter there is no Christian faith. The teachings, preaching, healings that Jesus did were wonderful and amazing, but it is the victory of love and life over hatred and death that brings us together again this Easter. The first witnesses to the resurrection did not have cell phone videos to broadcast the news, nor were there a crowd of reporters to hold a news conference that Sunday morning. But Paul says that the evidence of the Risen Christ is found in the community of faith.
We continue to meet the Risen Christ when the story is told, and in so many encounters. Sometimes it is when you drag yourself out of bed to worship, and the music we share awakens something in you, and the warmth of the church family’s embrace causes something to stir, the Word shared strikes chord in your heart, and you sense Christ’s real presence in the bread and wine. Sometimes it is when you are desperate and you suddenly know that He is there with you in the dark. Sometimes when the right words come to speak to a friend, and you don’t know where they came from. Sometimes you witness acts of selfless love and compassion that are inexplicable in the logic of the world, but priceless to those who receive.
In those places and times we know the truth that Paul speaks, our faith is not in vain, for Christ is Risen, and continues to live among us each day. Lord give us eyes to see, and voices to share, the Good News of Easter.
Pastor John Twiton