We hope this week finds you full of peace and your faith in Jesus stronger and deeper than ever before. We hope you had the opportunity to participate in worship with us online on Easter Sunday. Perhaps you spent some time reflecting on Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and just what that incredible gift means to you personally and to those you know and love.
No doubt your Easter celebration was a little different than last year. Well, maybe a lot different. I know it was different at our house, but we still managed to have a “socially distant” Egg Hunt.
Many of us still had the chance to be close, or at least semi-close to family, but for others… Easter was hard. No family, no interaction with people… and honestly, Easter emphasized the fact that you’re alone, unable to be close to those you love.
Isolation can be lonely.
But, please know that although these days can feel lonely, God is still near. Listen to this promise in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Be assured that God is by your side, always, even with all the noise and chaos of our crazy world. I think we could take some advice from what an old Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen, once wrote in this prayer:
Dear Lord, Speak gently in my silence,
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings and the loud inner noises of my fears keep pulling me away from you.
Help me to trust that you are still there even when I am unable to hear you.
Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying: “Come to me, you who are overburdened, and I will give you rest…for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
God, let that loving voice be my guide.
Before the beginning of time, God has had a plan to be in relationship with people. Through Jesus, he has revealed that plan through his grace and mercy. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17 ESV).
God’s grace is good news to our broken world. By placing our confidence in Jesus, who is alive and well, we can experience lasting peace.
Hey, teens, don’t forget that Will has a One Minute Message for you each Wednesday that you can find on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget about your Faith Conversations!
And kids, Mr. Tom and Ms. Carolyn have a special message for you, too, each Wednesday that you can find on Facebook, our weekly eView or on our church website.
Join us this Sunday at our online campus at 8:30, 9:45 or 11:00 AM as Jay continues to teach from the ‘Resurrected’ series. We’ll be studying Luke 24 where a couple of Jesus’ disciples traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus encounter the risen Christ. Can you imagine the surprise and joy they experienced as they discover that the Jesus they witnessed crucified on a cross is alive again? We look forward to seeing you online this Sunday!
Our prayer for you this week is that you will find an opportunity to share your joy and hope with someone else. That you will have the courage to open up your life to wherever Jesus takes you. That although we are limited in our movement, we can still use this time of isolation to be kind, to be generous and draw closer to our God.
We are so blessed to be with you as we Follow Jesus Together!
(April 15, 2020)