What a glorious Easter Sunday it was at St. Mark’s! The sanctuary was filled with people, young and old, who came to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Members commented how good it felt to see so many men, women and children gathered to worship and to give praise to God.
While Easter Sunday has come and gone, the Easter season continues on through Pentecost Sunday, which is on June 9th this year. As we gather together to worship from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, our scriptures will help us explore the impact of the resurrection of Jesus in the lives of his followers and on the growth of the Christian Church.
The Gospel Readings for this season of Easter will come from Luke and John. These passages will share many of the stories of how the disciples discovered that Jesus, who once was dead, was now alive. They also share with us how the followers of Jesus reacted to this discovery. Both Gospels make it clear that one of the fundamentals of Christian discipleship is love; love for God and for each other.
The First Readings for the Easter season will all come from the Acts of the Apostles. These passages will share many of the stories of how Peter, Paul, and others began to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world, taking that message to the outer edges of the Roman Empire. The passages from Acts also share how people reacted to that message and how their lives were transformed by it. Each generation of Christians has passed this message on to the next generation. That message is now shared with you and it is your responsibility to share that message with the next generation.
The Second Readings for Sunday worship will all come from the book of Revelation. These texts encourage us to look to the future. They speak of that time when Christ will come again. The book of Revelation is filled with visions of that time when Jesus will establish his reign over heaven and earth. When Christ comes again, the distinction between heaven and earth will be no more. There will be a new creation!
This Easter season is a good time to consider what it means to be a Christian congregation. It is a good time to consider the many ways that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is revealed and lived here at St. Mark’s. Moreover, it is a good time to consider the many ways that you, the members of St. Mark’s, can take the good news of Jesus Christ out into your community and thereby make a difference in the lives of others? Where is God leading you as you look to the future?
At the end of this season of Easter, we will celebrate Pentecost. We will be reminded on that Sunday of how the Spirit of God descended upon the disciples and inspired them to speak of the good news of Jesus Christ. Not only were they inspired, but they were also empowered to share this message in ways that everyone could understand it, no matter what region they came from or language that they spoke. Pentecost is the story of the birth of the Christian church that was established not only on the commandment to love but also on the radical idea of inclusiveness. It is also a great time to consider the ways that the Holy Spirit is leading St. Mark’s into the future!
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Dennis Kelly