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Autumn Foliage

God’s unlimited, unconditional Love is the last word

“Every morning is Easter Morning from now on, Every day’s Resurrection Day. The past is Over and Gone! Good-bye fear, good-bye pain, good riddance; Hello, Lord! Hello, Sun! I am one of the Easter People, my new life has begun!”

The beginning of one of my absolute favorite Easter Hymns! The words express such joy and such discovery. If Jesus is risen, (and He is – indeed!), then Christ has overcome the worst the world can dish out. The Truth of Resur- rection isn’t just about the day we celebrate God’s victory over the world, the world’s ways, and the world’s limits. It’s to declare that every day is filled with the power and possibilities of resurrection! The past is simply that – the past. It need not limit nor define us! As scripture says again and again, “God is doing a new thing – Do you not perceive it?”

We can risk living in new ways of liberation, renewal, revitalized lives and relationships! God is bringing forth New Life each day. We need not fear – God has overcome and brings the power of unconditional love and, as we read in Romans 8, Not one thing can separate us from this love! Some folk in the congregation and even the Youth Group were/are asking for some “Background Information” about Easter....

The Easter Season is also known as the Great Fifty Days. It begins at sundown on Easter eve and continues through the Day of Pentecost. It’s always good to remember that while Lent is such an Important season in preparation for Easter, it’s only 40 days while Easter is the “Great Fifty days”! Easter isn’t just a day as much as it is a new way of living! If there were such a word, we should encourage one another to live in an “Easter-ish-ing-ly” way. Easter is the most joyous and celebrative season of the Christian Year! It focuses on Christ’s resurrection and ascension, also on the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Easter (John 20:22-23) and the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). On the Sundays in Easter we replace the Old Testament reading with one from the Acts of the Apostles because the early church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is the best witness of the Resurrection. The ancient Christian name for this festival is Pauch, derived from the Hebrew pesah (“deliverance” or “passover”), this connects the Resurrection to the Exodus – specifically the passover story. The origin of the English word Easter is disputed but may come from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eastra and her festival.

May this Easter Sunday and full Easter season be a time of praise, thankfulness, empowerment, reconciliation, and the experience of New Life – for that is what it is! The end of the refrain of the hymn at the top of the page reminds us; You are one of the Easter People! The Church are the Resurrection folk! We have it within ourselves through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to express resurrection every day! To share the joy and possibilities of Overcoming! To live out and to proclaim that brokenness and strife, sin and that which destroys and diminishes is not the last word. That New Life, Joy, and God’s unlimited, unconditional Love is the last word!

Our old lives are overcome and gone! Behold, new life, new opportunities! May you and I and each and all, live in the Truth of God’s all-sufficient love; and may it blossom in your hearts and come alive in the lives of you, your families, your loved ones, and us a congregation as we live into the glory and triumph of Easter morning!

Be God’s, Pastor Jim

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