Wow! What a great month of March we had! All of the wonderful services we had during Lent have led us perfectly up to the climax of it all that starts out the month of April this year. A huge thank you to Russ Upton (Isaac), Richard Henrickson (Moses), Nathan the Prophet (played by me), Tonya Upton (Mary), Mike O’Heron (Paul), Kay Robinson (Lydia), and Kristl Franklin (Wardrobe Expert and Drama Coach). You all helped our midweek Lent services come alive! And now, what better way to start out the month of April than with Easter. This year, Easter is April 1st and that’s no foolin’. In fact, the only April fools when it comes to Easter are those who don’t believe in the resurrection.
Sunday, April 1st, Easter Sunday will be an amazing festive day for us. We start with Easter Breakfast at 8:30, served by the youth with a little help from the Fellowship Team. Then comes the Easter Egg hunt for the kids. Those preliminaries lead us into the Special Service of Easter Celebration complete with special music from Adult Choir, Hand Bell Choir, Brass instruments, and congregational singing. The sermon will seek to deliver the victory to us all. And the Service will be completed with the Lord’s Supper. The Resurrection completes Jesus’ work of Salvation for us. It is the assurance that Jesus’ life given in death for us on Good Friday has paid the price in full to set us free from sin and make us God’s children to life everlasting.
The Easter Season of the Church Year has a week of (that is, seven) Sundays. The Second Sunday of Easter is April 8th. The Gospel for the day picks up where we left off on Easter with John 20:19-31. Jesus appears to His disciples on Easter evening saying, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent Me, even so I am sending you.” Thomas was missing from the group so Jesus would show up again a week later with the same message for Thomas. Vicar Joey Bluege will be with us to preach the message and lead Adult Bible Class.
On the Third Sunday of Easter, April 15th, the Gospel reading is Luke 24:36-44. The same event of Jesus’ appearing to His disciples on Easter evening is repeated, this time from the account described by Luke. Luke includes more details, including this key passage, “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’”
On the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 22nd, it is also Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel reading is John 10:11-18. Jesus is our Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us, His sheep, and took His life back again in His glorious resurrection from the dead. We hear His voice and follow Him. Vicar George Holleway will be with us to preach on this wonderful subject.
On the Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 29th, the Gospel reading is John 15:1-8. In this passage Jesus explains that He is the Vine and we are the branches. We receive Spiritual nourishment from Him that keeps our faith alive and produces the fruit of good works. He says, “Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Just a note about my health. On Monday, April 2nd, I begin the next phase of my treatment. I will begin taking two medications to fight the cancer that has resurfaced as two small spots, one on each lung. One medicine will be in pill form to attack the cancer directly. The other medicine will be injected to stimulate my body’s immune system to attack the cancer as well. Please continue to keep me in your prayers.
In April, as we celebrate all of the new life around us in God’s creation, we also celebrate the everlasting life God provides for us new each day in Jesus. Enjoy the celebration!