Category: Resurrection (Page 1 of 10)

Risen & Reigning

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” ~1 Peter 1:3-4

Everything hangs on the resurrection. Every blessing God intends for us to receive comes through Jesus’ resurrection. Forgiveness of every sin, the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, eternal life with him in glory – all of it comes through Jesus’ resurrection. It is the foundation of our faith, the energy behind our hope, and the source and sustenance of our very lives. It’s everything!

If the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus did not happen, then Christianity is worthless and church is a joke. If Jesus is not alive today and reigning in glory at the right hand of God, then he is not even a good teacher; he is a liar and a fraud. If Jesus is not raised, then Christianity is not even a good way to live; it’s a scam and it’s evil. If Jesus is still in a grave somewhere in Palestine, then death is not conquered and we have no hope and we are to be pitied more than anybody on earth.

But Jesus is raised! And he is reigning! And he is interceding! And he is coming back! And we do have faith and hope and eternal life! And we do have forgiveness and salvation and confidence and immortality and immeasurable joy and everlasting peace!

The angels announced it, the apostles saw it, and we believe it and proclaim it: Jesus the Christ is risen from the dead and everything for us and for this world is going to be good and right forever!

Peace,

Allan

Resurrection Praise

The Day of Resurrection has dawned upon us, the day of true light and life, wherein Christ, the life of believers, arose from the dead. Let us give abundant thanks and praise to God, that while we solemnly celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, he may be pleased to bestow on us quiet peace and special gladness; so that being protected from morning to night by his favoring mercy, we may rejoice in the gift of our Redeemer.

~ Mozarabic Sacramentary

Resurrection Hope

“Hope doesn’t spring from logical, scientific, and rational deductions about the ‘facts.’ Science is useless in the Valley of Dry Bones. I love a good space documentary as much as the next person, but quasars and black holes, as wondrous as they are, provide zero hope to the people in prison. Facts are dry bones… Hope comes from the outside.”

~Richard Beck, Hunting Magic Eels

A Week Late & 50 Degrees Warmer

Due to COVID restrictions and our desire to try something completely different, we had planned an Ash Wednesday Drive-Thru event in our church parking lot. But on Ash Wednesday last week in Amarillo, it was four-degrees and there were nine inches of snow on the ground. So we postponed the event until last night when it was 50 degrees warmer and 100-percent drier.

As a church family last night we joined our Lord on his way to the cross. We participated with Jesus, we walked (drove) with our Christ as he willingly traveled to Jerusalem to suffer and die for the sins of all humanity. It was a come-and-go event with four different stops or stations to remember and reflect on Christ’s baptism, his triumphal entry into the Holy City, the supper he shared with his followers on that last night, and his crucifixion. We read the biblical texts and prayed focused prayers at each stop. We had meaningful conversations.

 

 

 

 

 

Last night we remembered that, while he was in the water, God publicly declared his eternal love for Jesus. In the same way, our heavenly Father acknowledges us as his precious children and commissions us for service in his Kingdom. We looked each other in the eyes last night and said, “You are loved by God and he is well pleased with you.”

 

 

 

 

We waved palm branches outside our car windows and shouted “Hosannah!” as we drove our vehicles over other palm branches and robes and coats. That’s where our people did some double-takes. “You want me to drive OVER the robes?” We discussed the differences between the way Jesus rules and the way worldly kings rule. We told each other, “God saves you.”

We shared the communion meal together last night. We thanked God for meeting our deepest needs in Jesus. We thanked God for washing away our sins in the blood of Christ.

And then we parked our cars facing the floodlit cross Leon Wood and Tom Grant had built and erected in front of our ancient chapel. Our shepherds met each car with words of blessing and prayers for peace. Holy moments. Sacred conversations. Nobody was in a hurry. Blessings were being given and received. God’s Spirit was comforting and transforming all of us. As the cars departed the event, our elders painted a gray cross on the window of each driver and passenger, reminding us that we are human – we are made of dust and to dust we will return – and that we need God and each other. The ash-colored crosses on our car windows acknowledged that the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus far surpasses in glory the burnt offerings made by the priests.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the essence of the Gospel. God created us out of his great love, we have sinned and fallen short of his glory, we are in desperate need of forgiveness and salvation, he forgives us and restores us through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

 

 

I am so grateful for our ministers and shepherds, for our church staff, and every member of this wonderful Central congregation. We have found creative ways to remain connected over the past year and we have seen our Lord at work in everything and everybody around us. May our faithful God continue to bless us during the days and weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. May we remember. May we walk with Christ. And may his will be done in and through this church and our city just as it is in heaven.

Peace,

Allan

Almost Easter

This is the video message we posted for our Central church family last night.

The church building might be empty on Sunday, but so is the tomb!

Peace,

Allan

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