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April 2024 Message From Pastor Mike: “Easter Afterglow”

Did you know there is no official terminology in the liturgical calendar to mark the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension? Our church doesn’t pay much attention to the church calendar beyond Advent and Holy Week, but I find it surprising that in 2,000 years, Christians haven’t come up with a good word to describe this fascinating and deeply meaningful time period when our Risen Lord walked with His followers preparing them to take over His ministry.

To be fair, liturgical calendars do mark this time as the seven weeks of Easter, calling the church to an on-going celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. That’s certainly appropriate.

Some extraordinary things happened during those 40 days. Jesus, risen from the dead in His earthly body, was able to pass through walls, suddenly appearing in a room with the disciples on at least two occasions. He ate food and showed His friends the wounds He had received on the cross, proving that He wasn’t a ghost or some heavenly manifestation of the man they had known. Jesus walked with them and talked with them, just like before, but with a kind of resurrection afterglow.

Jesus also completed some unfinished ministry business before ascending into heaven. He restored Peter, who had denied knowing Him on the way to the cross. He helped Thomas overcome his doubt. He gave the disciples their mission to go and make other disciples. He reaffirmed the promise of the Holy Spirit, who would fall on believers giving them power to tell the world about Jesus.

Those 40 days were all about preparing Jesus’ followers to build the church. He appointed leaders, gave them a mission and assured them of the amazing power available to them through the Holy Spirit.

Thinking back on those exhilarating days, John included two remarkable statements in the closing passages of his Gospel.

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30-31).

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25).

We believe in the Risen Lord who does countless amazing and wonderful things. We believe in His miraculous power and in the wisdom and truth of His teaching. We believe in His mercy for sinners like us and in His promise to return at the end of the age.

We also believe Jesus established the church to share His love and message with the world. Our mission remains the same, and the powerful presence of the Spirit now lives inside us. We worship and pray. We read God’s word and fellowship together. We reach out to neighbors with love and compassion. We invite sinners to find the Savior.

So, in the afterglow of Easter, we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross, we celebrate His glorious resurrection, we hold fast to the promise of His return, and we dedicate our church to sharing Jesus with those in need.




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