Pastor Devin Strong, Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church
Easter, Resurrection Sunday is today. It is the most important day of the Christian year. Of course, on Easter we celebrate Jesus breaking out of the grave and defeating the power of death forever. Because of Easter, we know that the struggles and pain, suffering and death of this world will not have the last word. We stand on the promise that we will see those we love in God’s kingdom, and we will live eternally. Wow!
But Easter is even more than that. Since Jesus’ resurrection tells you and me how OUR story will end, that is, in God’s powerful and gentle hands, Easter also reveals how we can live our story here and now. If death is not the end, then the world is not in charge. If even the greatest powers on earth cannot defeat Jesus’ love, then perhaps you and I should start acting like that today.
As Christians the world over celebrate this day of hope, the world is in great pain, both locally and globally. Locally, of course, we all know about the death and destruction that happened in Pembroke and Ellabell last week. The tornado swept through quickly, upending lives and leaving destruction in its wake. In response, our community is coming together to collect emergency items for those most affected.
Donations for North Bryan can be dropped off at Richmond Hill Fire Department’s three stations (9964 Ford Ave, 722 Timber Trail & 1851 Belfast Keller). Needed items are: Hygiene Products for both Men and Women (Deodorant, Shampoo and Conditioner, Body Wash, Shaving Gel, Razors, Feminine Hygiene Products) Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Baby Wipes New Towels and Wash Cloths New Socks (of all sizes-- children, men, women) New Underwear (of all sizes-- children, men, women) Diapers - of all sizes Dog and Cat Food Bottles of Water Tarps New pillows and bedding Globally, we continue to watch the bombarding of Ukraine, so the international aid organization Lutheran World Relief is assembling and distributing personal care kits for those in need. These kits include the same kinds of items mentioned above, including soap, toothpaste, and a bathing towel. Spirit of Peace is receiving donations towards these personal care kits through the end of April. Humanitarian efforts like these have everything to do with Easter! Of course, it’s good for everyone, regardless of religious convictions, to help our neighbors across the county and across the world, but as believers, we have extra reasons to be generous during the season of resurrection.
First, we remember that Jesus poured out his entire life so that we might live. It seems like responding by sharing a case of baby wipes or some cash is the least that we can do!
Second, Jesus breaking out of the grave proves to us that the Lord’s way of grace is the way that the world is supposed to be. We see so much of death and destruction that it’s easy to forget that they are the aberration, not the other way around. By rolling up our sleeves and going into our wallets, Christians help make Easter real in the world. Jesus has no hands except yours and mine.
Please know that the doors of Spirit of Peace are wide open for anyone who wants to celebrate the day of Easter hope with us. Easter breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. Worship begins at 10 a.m. The service will also be broadcast live on Zoom. See spiritofpeacelutheran. org for details.
God Loves You, and So Do I!