“What is both Good and New about the Good News is the wild claim that Jesus did not simply tell us that God loves us even in our wickedness and folly and wants us to love each other the same way and to love him too; but that if we will let him, God will actually bring about this unprecedented transformation of our hearts himself. What is both Good and New about the Good News is the mad insistence that Jesus lives among us not just as another haunting memory but as the outlandish, holy, and invisible power of God working not just through the sacraments but in countless hidden ways to make even broken beings like us loving and whole beyond anything we could conceivably pull off by ourselves.”
-Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
What an amazing and sacred-filled season of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter we experienced as the community of faith at Grace! So many of you have responded in grateful thanks for the music of the choirs, instruments, and bells; and the diverse voices of the clergy who brought heart and soul most particularly to the tradition of the seven last words of Christ on Good Friday! Easter Sunday blew in with predictions of rain, sleet, and SNOW, and we packed ourselves into worship to celebrate as only Grace can the Good News that Jesus lives among us with joy, a little laughter, some dancing, and a few chocolate bunnies and peeps!
The weeks following Easter are known in the church as “Eastertide”. It is also known as “The Great Fifty Days,” leading us to Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the birthday of the church. During these sacred days we celebrate the power of life over death and the promise of hope beyond despair re-membering who and whose we are as the children of a living God!
During Eastertide we also celebrate the culmination of the journey for our Confirmation students and their mentors! Our students will make their affirmation and be confirmed on Sunday morning, May 6 at the 10:45 traditional worship service. We have been walking together in faith on a weekly basis since mid-January. Our studies have taken us through theological, biblical, historical, and missional learnings about ourselves, our continual growing in relationship with God, and our intentional commitment to living like Jesus. While the journey of faith lasts a lifetime, we recognize confirmation as a wonderful chapter along the way!
During Eastertide we also celebrate the many volunteers it takes to keep our congregation and community alive and vibrant in service and witness! On April 21 and 22 we will enjoy a light reception in honor and thankfulness for countless hours of servant ministry. We all enjoy the challenge of a good jigsaw puzzle, so starting that weekend and in the following weeks you can stop by and see who and how many pieces of the puzzle it takes to build the life picture of Grace! It takes each one of us and we know you’ll be inspired and encouraged by how many of you put your faith into action as a witness to God’s resurrection spirit in your lives!
The sermon series for traditional worship during our journey through Eastertide will be focused around Living – Living on Purpose, Living La Vida Loca, Living Beyond Limitations, Living the Dream, Living It Up, and on Pentecost, Living On Fire!
The Good News of the resurrected Christ is a message that is both celebratory during joyous occasions and sustaining during times of great difficulty. We are called as disciples to live into all parts of life’s journey offering the generous love, grace, and hope of Jesus in every place and time! See you in worship!