Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash
"He is Risen!"
Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash
Christ the Lord is Risen Today!
by Charles Wesley 

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

A few verses of one of my favorite Easter hymns. I look forward to singing it each year in celebration. 

Easter is so different this year. The COVID-19 is keeping us all at home. I was looking forward to spending Easter Sunday at my new church doing my responsibilities and enjoying the church family. It's very disheartening to have to stay home instead of being there. However, like the Pastor says, it isn't the church building that makes the church as it is only the place where we meet. The people make up the church and make it a family.

Over the many years of my life, I remember Easter Sunday as always being very special. Also, I do not remember ever not being in church on Easter. As a church organist, I would practice special arrangements of songs for the service several months ahead of Easter. Often, this required many hours of practice but not quite as much as the Christmas season. However, it was always a blessing to practice the piece and play it on the special day.

Some families had big family gatherings for Easter dinner after going to church that morning. Others celebrated the day with the Easter Bunny, Easter candy, and Easter egg hunts or rolls. My parents always prepared an Easter basket full of candy which they gave to us before we went to church. However, they didn't put any emphasis on the Easter Bunny. They always reminded us that Easter is a celebration of Jesus's Resurrection from the tomb in which He had been buried on Good Friday. It a day of joy and celebration for Christians as it celebrates the eternal life He provides to those who accept and believe.

Yes, this year Easter will be different. COVID-19 has closed the doors of churches. In many ways, it seems like the virus is causing fear which is much like back in Jesus's day leading up to Good Friday. One moment, things are great and going fine. The next, things changed very quickly and got dark and frightening. Jesus knew what was happening. Others didn't and were frightened. He was crucified on an old rugged cross on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the grave defying death and the grave. Amazing. For those who accept and believe in Him, they will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

If you would like to become a Christian, follow Jesus, please pray through the following:

AdmitAdmit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified 
by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
- Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him 
should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16, ESV 

Confess your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) "For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” 
- Romans 10:13, ESV

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."


Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family. So, what's next-
  • Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with
  • Get baptized
  • Buy a Bible
  • Read the Book of John
  • Get in a Bible Study
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible
  • Find a Mentor
  • Learn how to Pray
  • If you find yourself asking "Why am I not perfect" or "Why am I still doing wrong things?" Be sure to talk with your Pastor, a Christian friend or a mentor.
Today my wife and I will celebrate by streaming the Worship Service from our church and having dinner at home rather than a favorite restaurant.  The day will go down in my memory to be told to someone somewhere along the way. I pray that your Easter will be a blessing and a great memory to share with someone along life's way. 

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