So often our times are influenced by news. Listening to the media, on most days we are harassed with a litany of bad news – death, destruction, debt, despair, and more. At times, if just listening to the news, things can seem pretty hopeless. We long for and yearn for some good news; and occasionally a light shines in the darkness. At the same time, whether good or bad it usually just evaporates from our memories – but still it leaves many in a numbed, confused fog.
Fortunately, one Sunday morning long ago, there was a news announcement that has never been equaled. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen (Luke 24:5-6)!” Talk about Good News!! It’s the best news. It’s the news that changes everything still. And I love how it is both cosmic and personal. Cosmic in the sense that Jesus overcomes death and sin and is alive! Personal in that he appears to individuals to restore and comfort them. And yet, the disciples thought just two days earlier that everything was lost – they had been sold on the “bad news” of the day. But we know that with God all things are possible! As Louis L’Amour wrote, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.” Amen!
And as if the news of the resurrection itself was enough…there is this truth: “The spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit (Romans 8:11). Think about it. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead – the power and victory that we celebrate on Easter – isn’t just a one day thing. Through our faith in Christ, this power is alive and working within us.
In a world of daily news of death, and dying and decay, we can take heart and hope that we have the source, the power that overcomes even death – within us. So that we look at circumstances and take account of all the obstacles we face – even when we think everything might be finished, because of the good news of the resurrection, because of that same power in our lives – we can be as Paul said, “more than conquerors in all these things.” As well, let us remember and rely on this power more and more as we continue to watch God lead us through this season of renewal for our church!
I invite you to share in the “Hosannas!” of Palm Sunday to the solemnity of Maundy Thursday to the sorrow of Good Friday and to the triumph of Easter. May we experience together the joy, wonder, depth, power and possibility of Holy Week:
April 1 – Palm Sunday Celebration with Luncheon, 10:30 am
April 5 – Maundy Thursday (The Lord’s Supper with Hand Washing), 7:30 pm
April 6 – Good Friday Remembrance Service, 7:30 pm
April 8 – Easter Celebration, 10:30 am
First Reformed Church of Saddle Brook, 5 Ackerman Avenue, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663; www.firstreformedsaddlebrook.com