There are so many people to thank for being a part of making Holy Week and Easter possible this year. Be sure and thank those who helped with all the planning: Blair King, Adam Lubbers, Pat Moore, Larry Rains, and Roxanne Rawdon. Thank you to our readers who made Maunday Thursday and Good Friday possible: Pat, Kim Rangel, Robert Putnam, Lee Willhite, Megan Willhite, Barbara Tatum, Margaret Young, and Jake Rangel. Four our baptism yesterday, we can thank Larry, Jim Hanigan, and Charles Loper for getting the baptistry set up. In addition, special thanks go out to First Methodist Carrollton for allowing us to borrow their portable baptistry so the requested immersion baptism could be a part of our regular Easter worship. A number of people helped with the setup yesterday to not only allow us to worship outside and sing together but also to live stream our worship for anyone unable to attend: Blair, Larry, Adam, Pat, Jim, Charles, Roxanne, Wesley Freeman, and Sarah Baird. It was a joy to have almost our full choir back together: Sarah, Roxanne, Margaret, Laurie Peake, Nancy Putnam, Lee Willhite, and Vin Scheihagen. And it was such a pleasure to hear from our hand bell choir: Roxanne, Robert, and Melanie Willhite. I am beyond grateful for those who made all this possible.
Also, I believe I got a little tongue-tied yesterday and said something about parents hiding Easter eggs. My mind often races ahead when I am speaking. It seems this happened when I was speaking of the Easter eggs. But I guess it is not altogether untrue. I know we had years where the Easter Bunny had so many stops with so many eggs that he dropped the eggs off and asked the parents to help hide them. So, if you children were confused by that moment in my sermon yesterday, please point them to this clarification.
Beyond Mr. Bunny, though, the 50 day season of Easter which we inaugurated in worship yesterday is just beginning. It is an opportunity to think, pray, and meditate upon just who the risen Christ we encounter at the table when we receive Holy Communion and in our lives really is. The risen Christ is the God who is love, who first loved us, and leads us to first love all others. The risen Christ is the God whose love gives life.
Over these next several weeks of Easter, we will be considering what it means to give God’s life to others. The first disciples were deeply confused about this before the resurrection. They were still thinking in terms of the traditions of the nations of the world. When they encountered the risen Christ, however, they found an entirely new worldview with its basis in the Realm of God revealed in the risen Christ.
What does it look like? What does this mean concerning how we love God and love all our neighbors? What sacrifices are needed on our part? Can our excesses become a source of life for others? Are we willing to be an offense because of who we give God’s life to because the risen Christ reveals they, too, are made in the image of God? What traditions of the nations of the world do we need to let go of to fully embrace the way of the risen Christ?
Come and join us on the journey of Giving God’s Life over these next seven weeks of Easter. You can connect on Sundays at 10:30 am in person, on our YouTube channel, CHUMC FarmersBranch, and our Facebook page, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.
Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Having received life in Christ, let us give that life to others.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen