Easter Greetings

Apr 4, 2012   //   by zike   //   Pastor's Blog  //  No Comments

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

 

The first reading from Easter Sunday is from Acts. It is Peter’s sermon to the household of Cornelius, a Gentile whose house God sends Peter to. The whole experience with Cornelius is an education for Peter – a real eye-opener. That’s because Peter had believed that people had to convert to Judaism to be Christians. But in a dream, Peter sees all kinds of animals coming down from the sky on a sheet, and a voice says to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter answers, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice says, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happens three times, and the sheet with the animals is taken up into heaven.

 

Peter is greatly confused by this dream, but when he is called by God to visit Cornelius, he understands that God is telling him that the good news of Jesus Christ is for all people, both Jewish and Gentile. In his sermon, Peter witnesses to what has happened to Jesus of Nazareth. He speaks of how Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” He was crucified, God raised him on the third day, and he appeared to the disciples after his resurrection. Peter says, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.” Peter now finds himself preaching to the people, although not in the way he expected to. He expected to be preaching to Jews. But here he is witnessing to an officer in the Roman army and his family. This experience completely changes Peter’s approach to preaching the gospel.

 

We are also given the challenge of sharing the gospel with our neighbors. Like Peter, we may be surprised to discover who those neighbors are. God challenges us to think of new ways to reach out to our neighbors, to serve and to share the gospel. Our joy on Easter is not just something we get to enjoy alone. Being a Christian is not all about what the church can do for me, but what God has already done for us. How do we respond to that great gift of grace? That’s the challenge for us as we seek to live out an Easter faith.

 

Blessings to you this Lent and Easter! May the spirit of the Resurrection, the spirit of love and grace, guide us in our faith and our work.

Pastor Janet E. Blair
Vice Pastor

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