Easter is the season of new life. We celebrate the new life in the world around as Spring finally makes an appearance, and we celebrate new life in Christ as we focus on an empty cross and an empty tomb.
I believe that Jesus wants to give that gift of new life to every one of us, individually, just as he said in John’s gospel, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). And I also believe Jesus wants to give that gift of new life to all of us, collectively, as the church.
I think the church is important to Jesus. His last words to his followers as he ascended into heaven, after all, were words of instruction for the church:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Jesus loves the church. Jesus loves this church. Jesus wants this church to thrive, and grow, and do the work he has entrusted to us. There is new life for us in Jesus, as individuals and as the church. And we all have our part to play in that new life, as individuals and as the church.
Later in this newsletter, you will find a new section that will appear each month, called We are the Church Together. There you will find information on our congregation’s vitality… its membership, its finances, the kinds of things that impact its ability to respond to Jesus’ call. Please study it carefully, and then prayerfully ask Jesus what your part will be in the new life he has planned for us. And then tune in to the bulletins each week, and the newsletter, and listen for your opportunities to get involved… to make a difference… to experience the new life of Christ.