Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands, robed in the flowers of blooming spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer; He makes our sorrowing spirit sing. "Beautiful Savior" author unknown
Easter is so important, it isn’t really just one day. It is a season. The season of Easter runs for 50 days. On the 50thday, Christ, who had ascended into heaven, sent his Holy Spirit with power upon the Church, a gift believers enjoy to this day.
The days between Easter and Pentecost are the most joyful of the year. The Sundays that follow Easter are meant to be subsequent celebrations of what began on Easter Sunday, recapturing the joy and hope of that great day. The greatest theologian of the early Church, Augustine, called the season of Easter “a joyful week of weeks” — seven wonderful weeks, each seven glorious days long. It was considered one long celebration.
During this season of Easter, our worship follows this path:
Our Living Lord can deal with our doubts
Scripture says that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith we believe in things we have no evidence to be true, other than the fact that God’s Word says that they are true. (Which really is the best evidence of all!) Therefore, it is inevitable that where there is faith, there will be doubt. Today we see that when doubt creeps into our faith, it robs us of peace. But doubts can be dealt with. We simply need to take them to the right place. When doubts arise, we don’t carry them to the world seeking answers. The world only adds to our questions and doubts. Rather, we carry out doubts straight to Jesus. By his unshakable promises, he drives doubt from our heart.
Our Living Lord gives purpose to our lives
How much do you know about George Washington’s life? Most people know very little, a few tidbits they recall from high school history. And that is our first president! The fact is that great achievements are quickly forgotten. Even stone monuments topple in time. So how much of what you accomplish in your lifetime will be remembered? It depends. If you make your greatest goal in life to be a witness for our living Lord, then you will accomplish muchwith your life. And those accomplishments will echo through eternity.
Our Living Lord still feeds his flock
For centuries, the Christian church has set aside one Sunday of Easter to look at one of the most common metaphors we find for Jesus Christ in Scripture. He is like a shepherd and we are his flock. Thus, today is often known as Good Shepherd Sunday.
Shepherding probably isn’t something we’re familiar with. But during the times the Scriptures were written, it was a well known job. It was sort of the equivalent of our American cowboy. Shepherds had to be brave, ready to fend off wolves and lions. They had to be tough, as shepherding in the Middle East requires lots of movement, trying to find good pasture. You can summarize the three main tasks of a shepherd this way: lead,feed, and give heed. Our living Lord continues to perform all of these tasks for his Church.
Because Christ is alive, our faith is alive and active too
One simply cannot be connected to Christ through sincere faith and have his life remain the same. Sincere faith grasps the righteousness of Christ. Sincere faith embraces the amazing promises of God. Sincere faith appreciates all that Christ has done in his dying and his rising. Thus, sincere faith moves the believer to live a life that gives God glory. Thus, the believer doesn’t just knowthings. (Christ died. Christ rose.) The believer doesthings — good works which flow from his faith and set him apart from the unbelieving world.
Our Living Lord teaches us to love
What does God want most? It’s not obedience. It’s not sacrifice. Neither of those, by themselves, are pleasing to God. What God wants most is love. Love is the essence of God’s Law. Loveyour God with all your heart, soul and strength. Loveyour neighbor as yourself. Love is the essence of the Gospel. God so lovedthe world that he gave his one and only son. Love is everything God is and everything God wants.
But we don’t know how to show love. Oh, we think we do. We try. But left to ourselves, even our best efforts would fall far short of the amazing self-sacrificial love that God wants us to display. And so our living Lord comes to us through his Word, shows us how to love, and gives us the motivation to do so.
Our Living Lord now rules from his throne
When Jesus ascended, it didn’t really take him further away from mankind. It brought him closer! Because now, from the high and lofty vantage point of his heavenly throne, he sees all and rules over all for the benefit of his Church. We need not travel to Jerusalem or Galilee to find him. We can call out to him in prayer, and from his throne he hears and does what is best. Since he has ascended, Jesus does not need to visit Christian churches one-by-one. From his throne, he sends his Spirit through Word and in the Sacrament is really present, to many churches simultaneously. Christ’s ascension isn’t the way Jesus left his people. It’s how Jesus draws closer to us even today.
At 720 Old Trolley Road in Summerville Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Sunday School and Bible Class at 9:15 am.
At 134 Foxbank Plantation Drive in Moncks Corner Sunday worship is at 10:30 am with Sunday School and Bible Class at 9:15 am.