What Difference Do You Think Holy Week and Easter Make?: Old First E-pistle 03.23.17

What Difference Do You Think Holy Week and Easter Make?: Old First E-pistle 03.23.17

“Rarely in life is there hope like I feel in church on Easter morning.”

Christmas is the easier Christian holiday to grasp: we all have known the overwhelming joy of a new baby making the whole world better. Easter, however, is more of a challenge. None of us has died, and in this sense, resurrection is beyond all of us. I do hope you recognize and share some resurrection experiences in your earthly lives, but how many of us have known someone who has come back from the dead?

For Christians, every Sunday is a “little Easter,” the 8th Day of the New Creation, and I believe joining us at Old First any of the other 51 Sundays of the year offers some promise and uplift. Still, I believe, Easter stands on its own. I asked people from this community about the difference Easter makes for them; this congregation is a repository of deep faith:

“I need, at least once a year, to be part of… stand in the midst of Easter People. I thank God the whole service long.”

“Right alongside of tragedies we’ll never recover from, failed dreams we can’t forget, our own and others’ evil that might sink us, God’s providence is still present.”

“…Because THIS story is so fully human, so fully divine.”

“It’s an illustration for me — curse and condemn goodness at the core of life all you want. Goodness just keeps coming back to life.”

“Good Friday reality (like so much in our world) is so unbearable that only Easter could get us over it.“

“It might sound more like Buddhism than Christianity, but Jesus surrendered because it was the only way to win. …But not a victory that was his alone. I need to learn that every day.”

“Our faith isn’t in Life Eternal. It’s about undeniable, heart-stopping Death… on the way to Resurrection that’s even more real.”

“At the empty tomb, I remember that all the ways we’ve hurt others and God and and ourselves, even the worst in us — can’t argue God out of going on with us.”

“Ours is not an omnipotent God, but a suffering, dying, all-vulnerable God.”

“The cross isn’t some tragic ending. Alleluia! …It turns out, instead, it’s the beginning of a whole new story. Amen!”

“I read once, ‘to live without him is true death; to die with him is to enter into true life.’ I liked that, but believe he also brings abundant life well before death.” 

“Rarely in life is there hope like I feel at church on Easter morning.”

I invite you to join us at Old First, to gather in THIS faith and with disciples LIKE THIS, as we experience again God’s incredible faithfulness and love.

This Sunday, March 25 is Palm Sunday. Then Holy Week with services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. On Easter morning, there’s the early, Outdoor Service; then Easter Breakfast (bring some food to share if you can; the church makes the main dishes), and the Easter Service at 11 with communion. (Here is the complete schedule.) Invite someone different to each of the events!

See you in church (and even if we don’t, happy Easter!),

Michael