Allow me to recount the personal way my wife and I spent Easter 2020 along with some thoughts on how Easter was shared among believers in the protestant world.
I’ll start with an entry from my journal on Saturday before Easter. “It’s sunny with clouds and a cool east wind on a crisp spring day atop this beautiful mountain as I read another chapter in Dudley Hall’s, Grace Works.” In the latest chapter he notes, “The major sin of God’s covenant people is that of unbelief… since Gods primary requirement is faith.” “In fact, I would dare say that no violation of the law is ever committed without prior unbelief.”
Profound! Grace and Faith. Faith and Grace. The two key issues with God! (Eph 2:8-9)
Then Abide (John 15:5). No boasting ( I Col 1:29, Jeremiah 9:23-24)!
If you fall back into law or works, pray-repent-admit-be restored at once. The price is paid — Easter 2020. Holy Saturday ends the season of Lent. It’s a good day to ponder such truth. Thank you Lord for leading me. Help me to abide more with You, and in You, and You in me. This is my plea, my prayer for holy Saturday, 2020.
April 12, 2020 Easter
On a beautiful, high overcast morning with a sea of pastel greens and blues below… there is thunder in the area on Easter morning — a power display.
I share “He is Risen!” and “He is Risen Indeed!” — the traditional Easter greeting of the early church — with a few close friends and family by text. Now begins a virtual Easter celebration with our present home church, Fayetteville Fellowship. Strange it seems, real and surreal at the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has much of the planet in isolation, so on one of the most church-attended Sundays of the year in Christendom, the faithful are not allowed to meet! So plans have been made, with a few weeks practice under their belts, for most of the planet’s churches to meet on line, via streaming, Facebook, YouTube, etc. People are forced to be more private and thoughtful about their beliefs, as they ponder them alone, and with their families, or small groups of believers in a time of uncertainty.
This also allows my wife and I to visit the Easter services of friends in Kansas. And of our Fort Smith, AR church for more than thirty years, before we moved last year. Amazing developments all the way around!
As startling as it is, it’s also refreshing in a sense — to break with tradition and consider what it is you really believe? And why you do what you do?
The outline of our pastors message was:
The Fact — of the resurrection
The Implications — of the resurrection
The Meaning — of the resurrection
You assume His death is the end. His disciple did! The most faithful prepared spices. It’s over.
But within days, Peter, arguably the most prone to act in the flesh or his own strength, has a personal meeting with his risen Lord in Galilee, gets a personal commission, and a few days later the inner empowerment to carry it out, being filled with the same Holy Spirit operative in Jesus.
In similar fashion within a few weeks, Paul a violent, angry religious, Jewish bigot, would meet the risen Lord and receive the same Holy Spirit, along with a new identity. The two of them, in that power, would go on to change the known world of their time extending down to our time. Amazing. Grace.
Or in his own words recorded in Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, promised by the Prophets, Jesus Christ our Lord! News by which everything is changed. A plan to fix and reverse the curse of sin… One Who would come has come.
The implications Paul goes on to say in Romans 8, is that, “We are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
And in Romans 10, “If you declare with your mouth, and trust in your heart, you will be saved.” Declare and believe what? “Jesus was raised from the dead!”
It’s the claim of Easter. The victory we walk in. Celebrate!!
Here are two special worship videos going around in our area this season especially apropos the pandemic and the cultural era in which we live.
This one from our home church.
This one from a group of believers in Nashville TN.
Enjoy! He is risen indeed!