April 26, 2019 | by Gregg DeMey
Spring is my favorite time of year. I love walking around the neighborhood and being surprised by the daily changes of new life blossoming from the trees and flowering from the ground. Simply the deep green color of newly mown April grass is enough to make me happy, but there’s so much more! Tulips are bursting out in dozens of colors. Magnolia trees are in full flower. Redbuds are blooming with thick purple branches. The sweet smell of hyacinths wafts indoors from flower boxes on the porch.
But all of this new life pales in color and comparison beside the deeper realities that we celebrated on Easter Sunday. Those of us in worship at Elmhurst CRC on Easter Sunday experienced a lovely and lively time in God’s presence. If you missed it, I highly recommend you check out the Livestream of our Easter services: LIVESTREAM
The hard message of Easter can be summed up this way: Everything is going down to the grave.
The hopeful message of Easter is alarmingly similar, but so very different:
Everything that goes to the grave with Jesus Christ will rise from the grave with him too.
Since Easter Sunday morning, there has been a significant amount of sickness, pain, and death both in our church family and in some of my circles of family and friends. I’ve been clinging to that hardwon Easter hope with white knuckles for the past few days. But circumstances don’t bend the lasting truth that, indeed, everything that goes to the grave with Jesus will rise with him too.
The resurrection realities that we speak of on Easter are not only for some future heaven,light years away, they’re also for the here and now. In our worship services for the next couple of months, we’ll be naming and claiming some of the signs of life that God is posting right here in our midst. For example, this coming Sunday we’ll be welcoming 20 adults and kids into the membership of our congregation. Quite a dramatic bloom of new life! Each week from now into mid-June there will be a different sign-of-life to read and celebrate.
Easter worship ended with an AWESOME song called “Ain’t No Grave” sung by Angela Buikema. Because dozens of folks have asked for a recording of this, you can find the song here:
There’s one particular lyric towards the end of this song that gets me every time. It goes,
“If you walked out of the grave, I’m walkin’ too.”
Yes and Amen.
If it goes to the grave with Jesus — and this includes you and me, body and soul — it’s also going to come out of the grave with Jesus, healed and whole, walking tall and strong.
Lord, let it begin soon! Easter blessing to you,