Minister’s Letter April-May 2018

Dear Friends,

Jesus breaks out of the tomb on Easter morning in order to break into out world with resurrection power. The resurrection was the ultimate miracle; the supreme example of the in-breaking of God’s kingdom here on earth. We catch a glimpse of what the fullness of the kingdom will bring to the created order in which we live.

The four gospels spend a disproportionate amount of their time describing the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The evangelists go to great lengths to describe Jesus’ resurrection as an extraordinary event that is part of human history. The gospels describe the resurrection appearances in the garden, the upper room and on the shore of Lake Galilee. It is clear that the resurrected Christ could be seen, touched and heard. He could eat a fish breakfast along with his disciples, yet his new resurrected body could pass through walls and appear in locked rooms.

The resurrection had a huge impact upon his disciples. Before Easter morning they appeared unsure of themselves or Jesus’ teachings. After the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they communicated the gospel more boldly and spoke about the purpose of Jesus’ ministry with greater clarity. Some of those who heard the message of the apostles’ teaching believed that Jesus of Nazareth was God’s promise Messiah. These believers became the nuclei of the early Church.

What does the resurrection mean for disciples of Christ? The resurrection is the strongest symbol of hope that Christians are given. Without the resurrection, God’s work on the Cross would have remained incomplete. We would have been left with our sins forgiven, but without the hope of eternal life after we die. In his first letter to the Christians in Corinth the apostle Paul writes: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” [15:20]  The word firstfruits speaks of a sampling, a foretaste, a glimpse. Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruit of the resurrection life that he shares with us. However, the resurrection should not only be a future hope for us it should be our present hope as well. The power of the resurrection along with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life means that Christ lives in the hearts of believers today. The risen Christ empowers believers to be faithful witnesses to one another in the Church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s gifts sustains the life of the Church and moves us to reach out to others with the gospel message and love of Jesus Christ. That is what our congregation is in the business of doing; through Bible study and prayer, our migrant outreach and the Adentan Twinning project and all the other work we do in Christ’s name.

May you know God’s riches blessing

Your minister and friend