Oak Forest United Methodist Church
Thursday, April 26, 2018
To Know Christ, To Grow in Christ, To Share Christ

Pastor's Message

April 2018
 Easter People

     One of the most important titles we bear as Christians is that we are an Easter People. Easter changed everything. The morning that the Marys discovered the empty tomb and Jesus was resurrected marked the beginning of a new creation. The work on the cross was finished. The work of Jesus put to death all those things that keep us from the love of God: sin, the forces of the powers that be, illness and disease, poverty and hardship. Paul reminds that because of Easter, there is nothing that can EVER separate us from the love of God. God has make a new covenant through Jesus. Yes, Easter has happened over 2000 years ago and for 2000 years we have remembered, celebrated, and proclaimed that truth. Easter proves God’s love for us but it also proves God’s dominance over everything in this world. Nothing can stop God. 

     Yet some people continue to live in a Good Friday world. Too many live as if there is no hope, where there is no repercussion for those who kill innocents, where our mistakes define who we are, where illness and disease are proof of someone’s mistakes and just punishment. A Good Friday world is filled with darkness, the powerful becoming more powerful, and the weak being trampled.      Where the ones who struggle to speak out for themselves, the children, the poor, the oppressed, the widowed are silenced. A Good Friday world tells us that there is no hope, no change, no repairing broken relationships, and no hope for freedom. Look around, read a newspaper, listen to the nightly news don’t you hear it?... The voices of a Good Friday world? 

     We are an Easter people. The work of redemption has already been done. Now our task is to live into that truth every day. Our task is to speak into the Good Friday world that God has risen indeed! No powers, principalities, no hunger or thirst, no illness or disease, or bad choices can ever stop us from living as Easter people. God yearns for us to proclaim that truth for ourselves. We hang on to that truth not only for ourselves for the world that seems to be stuck in the darkness. 

     Get up and go! Be the agents of grace, the Easter people, God wants you to be. Speak truth and be com-passionate, seek to understand rather than be understood, welcome those who are hurting and the hopeless, give generously knowing that you will be blessed, pour it out without counting the cost, and forgive someone-release them from their mistake. Invite God into your thoughts and into your soul and allow God to make you more like God’s self each and every day. Yes- all this is possible because we are an Easter People. 

Thanks and Peace,
Pastor Julie