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Tag Archive | "resurrection"

Will you remember?


First-Baptist-church-currenPastor Robert P. Smith

First Baptist Church

233 Main St, Cedar Springs

 

There are many facts in life that we are called upon to remember—names, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, deadlines, tax day, and even historical events of national significance: September 11, 2001, January 28, 1986, April 3, 1968, November 22, 1963, or December 7, 1941. These dates bring to memory the reality of loss, suffering, and death. And the same is true for us today as we remember, April 3, 33.

In less than three days, Christians are called upon to remember not a date, not even an event of national importance, but an eternal person of significance. We remember not a change in our world, but the One who created the world, turned it upside down, and one day He will bring a new world. On Easter Sunday, will you do as 2 Timothy 2:8 says: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.” 

The word “remember” is an important word if we are going to comprehend this command. A few years ago, a friend of mine returned to Michigan to reunite with his family for a special occasion. On that evening, after dinner, the family began to share some of their childhood memories when one of his sisters suggested they watch some of the old 8mm movies. At first, the idea sounded horrible, the reason for the reunion was painful enough, but to watch movies of their own growing pains was considered unbearable.

Nevertheless, they turned on the projector and my friend saw his father as a twenty-seven year old walking with his two sons. He was running alongside his son as he showed him how to ride a bike. He was a thirty-two year old teaching his kids how to water ski. But most of the time, he was not on the screen at all. He was capturing his family on film.

It was a bittersweet experience for my friend as he contrasted that young man on film with the frail man his father is now. That evening helped my friend remember his father not as the man who forgot his name or that he was his son, but as the man who for most of his years was full of life. Somehow, it helped to bring some joy in the midst of their deep sorrow.

Remembering the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is important for a number of reasons. It brings joy out of sorrow. It brings hope for tomorrow. And there is another good reason we remember: God is faithful. He keeps His promises. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is proof. Remember what the angel said to the women at the tomb? “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6 KJV). Notice the last three words, “as he said.” Will you remember?

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In His rising, the life of all have risen


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

 

Finally, spring is here! Having many friends and relatives who live in warm parts of the country, whenever I visit them, they always ask, “When will you move here with us and stay in the sun-shining states instead of Michigan?”

My response to them is always the same. “Only in Michigan will you experience four distinct seasons and, after a long winter season, you will appreciate spring time. What happens during spring is a wonderful analogy to Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  Through him the children of light rise to eternal life and the halls of the heavenly Kingdom are thrown open to the faithful; for his death is our ransom from death, and in his rising the life of all have risen. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. . .  (Preface II of Easter, Roman Missal-Third Edition).

I would like to call your attention to what is highlighted in the prayer: the resurrection of the Lord has an impact on not just human beings, but on all. That is the faith of the Church! Christ’s resurrection changes all things for the good! Alleluia.

This is when spring in Michigan can help us explain the mystery of Easter. After a long winter, grass, flowers, and tree leaves appear again. It is refreshing! When you walk into your house, it seems like a new one! What spring does for the environment, the Resurrection of the Lord does even more so for the world. The Lord, the Creator of all, has entered the world and by his death and resurrection has redeemed the world. Nothing has been untouched in this earthly field by the resurrection of Christ.

The challenges us now is to listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3: 1-4).

Our entire world has been changed by Christ’s resurrection. Let’s us focus on “what is above.”  Amen.

 

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Greetings from Hillcrest Church


Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church of God

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

This spring we celebrated Easter on April 24, the resurrection of our Lord from the grave three days after He was crucified and buried. But did you also know that wasn’t the end? After Jesus arose from the grave He appeared several times in several different places and to several different people including more than 500 people all at the same time over a period of 40 days? And that’s not all! He not only appeared, He interacted with them. He talked with them; He ate with them and continued to instruct them. These people were eyewitnesses—people who saw with their own eyes the resurrected Lord! If you were an attorney in a court of law and were able to produce just one eye witness to an event, that would be enough to convince the court of the truth. But what if you traipsed more than 500 eye witnesses through the witness stand that swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and testified that they saw Jesus alive after He was crucified and buried for 3 days? There should be absolutely no doubt to the validity of these events. There is even a record in writing directly from several of these eyewitnesses. Why is it that modern theories are credible, while actual eyewitness accounts are not? After 40 days from the Resurrection, while Jesus was speaking with the disciples on the Mount of Olives, Jesus was taken up to Heaven before their very eyes! (Eyewitnesses again.) But before He was taken up, He said in Matt. 28:18-20 NIV, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” Jesus gave the disciples this assignment, but not without preparing them and then empowering them to accomplish their task. He commanded them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (your city), and in all Judea and Samaria (your country), and to the ends of the earth (all the world)!” Acts 1:4-8 NIV. We were created for a purpose. There is a divine plan for our lives that we cannot accomplish apart from God. When Jesus left, He sent His Spirit to remain here until He returns. As Christians, Jesus has promised that He will be with us always. That means always. Even in the darkest of places, even when we can’t feel Him, even when we have doubts, we can be sure that Jesus is here with us. Don’t ever lose hope!

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