Easter is the most joyous and celebrative season of the Christian year. We focus on Christ’s resurrection from the dead, his ascension into the heavens, and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on that first Easter and on the Day of Pentecost. It is a glorious time, and we will join with the church universal this Sunday declaring to the world that “Christ is risen!” Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
The festival of Easter at First United Methodist Church of Montgomery is truly magnificent. The beautiful “Cathedral in the Pines” in all of its majesty with the grounds bursting forth in a stunning array of colors is an awe-inspiring setting to gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. The sanctuary adorned with Easter lilies, the choir leading us in the hymns of faith, and the liturgy of the church announcing once more the timeless message of the Gospel make for a magnificent day of worship and praise. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be part of the Easter Day services again!
Easter is a day filled with emotions. Having journeyed through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, Easter is the “great reversal,” God’s “surprise,” as Jesus has defeated death once and for all. Just as the women were told by the angel to go and tell the others, the message of Easter is one desperately needed in our world today. With the headlines declaring stories that could lead us to despair, we should be moved by the Easter story to speak a word of hope into the lives of families, friends, and neighbors. Hope lives, and his name is Jesus Christ!
One of the newer Easter hymns we sing is Easter People, Raise Your Voices! William James wrote in those verses, “Every day to us is Easter, with its resurrection song.” My prayer for us is that we would make our voices heard through words of encouragement, words of kindness, words of mercy, words of reconciliation, words of peace, and words of hope. I have so many conversations and interactions with you that I know your desire is for resurrection to occur in our communities, throughout our city, and our area. We can, through the power of the Spirit, work to overcome the challenges we face so that new life would be experienced for all.
Easter is God’s work, God’s gift to us, to show us that all things are possible in and through Jesus Christ. He lives, and his spirit lives in us. As we gather to celebrate this on Sunday, may we also be moved to consider the possibilities that this reality offers for us all here at First United Methodist Church!
Blessings and peace,