INVOCATION and READING
Draw us forth, God of all creation.
Draw us forward and away from limited certainty
into the immense world of your love.
Give us the capacity to even for a moment
taste the richness of the feast you give us.
Give us the peace to live with uncertainty,
with questions, with doubts.
Help us to experience the resurrection anew
with open wonder and an increasing ability
to see you in the people of Easter.
– Author Unknown
1 Peter 1: 3-9 Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
All glory to the Risen Lord, my God and savior!
My “resurrection connection” came this week among the flowers. Yep, flowers. I was enjoying the hyacinths and daffodils as they emerged from the winter earth. I even made a little video about picking some of them and enjoying them inside because of an impending cold snap.
Like most of us, I do see God in nature, especially in the rebirth of spring when all that had died the previous fall rises to life again. So, when I came across a simple quote by poet Ingrid Goff-Maidoff, I needed to listen to what the Holy Spirit might be trying to tell me.
“God spoke today in flowers,
and I, who was waiting on words,
almost missed the conversation.”
I was reminded of how I am reborn in Christ through His resurrection just as the flower is reborn in the spring. Neither is dead, but regenerated anew, even though I don’t always see and understand. The flower reminded me that faith in the resurrection is the assurance of everlasting life. Whatever darkness I allowed to overshadow the light – whatever distraction from truth and love entombed me – I only needed to pause and listen to my heart because that’s where God is. My spirit is eternal. And, as long as I dwell in the light of Christ, I live in the love and promise of his resurrection. We are all born anew this blessed Easter to love and serve God and each other!
“Now the Green Blade Riseth” (UMH #311) – The lyrics were written by John Macleod Campbell Crum (1872-1958). He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1900. The tune is a French carol from the 15th century, “Noël Nouvelet.”
Dear Lord, may I realize afresh today what Your death and resurrection mean for me. Forgiveness, freedom, and the ability to walk with You through this fallen world into eternity. May I always find my satisfaction in You and Your willingness to offer Yourself to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. — Rachel Olsen
Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries