Message Supplement for 27 March 2016 (Easter)–“Awaken!”

God bless you this wonderful morning and welcome to Easter, the most joyous of all Christian holy days. Join this festive occasion as we celebrate the magnificence of the resurrection.

Easter emphasizes life over death and hope over despair. Jesus’ triumph demonstrates how love and light crush hate and darkness. The good news is that God’s eternal message lives within each believer. Jesus’ flesh and blood have since transformed in heaven yet the principles he demonstrated remain ever-active. Easter reminds us that death is not the final word. Through the power of love, we move from soul-slumber into spiritual awakening. We are God’s children and, like Jesus, we will gain new life when this one is over. We praise a living God whose Spirit indwells and help us grow through every life challenge.

God’s presence gives life to each person of faith. We live as spiritual beings in God’s Kingdom. Though our bodies originate from the ashes of earth, our spirit belongs to God and adversity does not imprison us. We may age and die physically, but God’s Easter promise is that we will transcend death. What does Easter do for you?  Do you feel anything special? I hope so because there is more spiritual energy today than for all the year’s other celebrations combined. Take this time to gain encouragement over challenging life circumstances. Realize that no matter what happens to your body—death, disease, discouragement—your spirit will remain incorruptible and whole. Jesus set the standard for which all people of faith can claim God’s promises. Though you die in the flesh, God lives in you and through your spirit.

Here and now we receive, celebrate and share God’s magnificent promises. If Jesus can be raised from the dead, then in partnership with God we will also overcome. What is it that we strive to accomplish on this earth? As a church, we need to perform two key tasks: (1) learning and growing to become stronger Christians (a process called discipleship) and 2) partnering with God to help make new Christians (a process called outreach). Taken together, these two goals form the acronym “DO,” as in “We can DO it!” The splendid task of keeping our church healthy requires commitment beyond a casual nod of our heads. We must labor together and forge a bright future if we want our church to survive and thrive.

We serve a risen Lord who is with us in every struggle. Please, pray that God will continue to open hearts and minds to the tasks that lay ahead. As God’s spiritual children, we are heirs to the same victory over death that Jesus demonstrated. We must not withdraw into ourselves, turn-away, or cultivate a disinterested attitude. Dispel fear about the world holding you captive. Nothing in this life can devour our liberated, awakened spirits. God’s love has set us free.  Now, the joyful challenge is to share the good news with the world. Let us proclaim “Hallelujah!” as we celebrate life over death. –Reverend Hoxey