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What's Next?

Dear Friends,

As we continue in this joyous season of Eastertide, I want us to reflect and explore the question, What’s next? Easter is more than one day. In the tradition of the Christian faith (which is different from the practices of the day), Eastertide was widely celebrated as a time of celebrating the Risen Lord and a time of preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is a period of 50 days, beginning with Easter and ending on the day of Pentecost. So, what’s next? That’s a great question, which we will explore.

For the followers of Jesus in the first century, I see them asking that very question: So, what’s next? They saw their friend, teacher and Lord crucified, dead and buried, and risen from the grave. Jesus met with them again and again, preparing them for life and ministry. He came and talked with them when they were locked in the house. He met them by the sea and on the mountain. It was a season of preparation for the people who were known as followers of the Way.

A time of preparation, there’s an interesting concept. Many Christians celebrate Advent as a time of preparation for Christmas and Lent as a time of preparation for Resurrection Sunday – Easter. But what happened to the time of preparation known as Eastertide?

So, what’s next? We are in the midst of our Eastertide celebration and preparation. We are just like those first century followers. Imperfect, broken followers of Jesus were being prepared for life and ministry. They had many questions and so do we. What does it mean to live in light of the Resurrection? What will life and ministry look life?

So, what’s next? That’s up to you! We will either let our challenges and problems influence us with worry, anxiety, stress and unforgiveness; or we will allow the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ transform us and prepare us for something more. This is a fact individually and as The Church.

What can we do? Dedicate and rededicate your heart to God! Make reading and studying the Bible a regular habit. Specifically, study post-resurrection lessons of Jesus. Pray – pray a lot and attend to the means of grace. Give of yourself and make a difference in the lives of those with whom we live. Invest in someone who needs the Good News of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Get involved and be the hands and feet of Jesus! And give to SCCF. There are two ways to give to SCCF. Get involved and participate and serve in new and exciting ways through your presence. The second way is to make a special offering to the glory of God. As you know, it takes money to operate the church. In spite of the Pandemic and our not meeting together, your presents (financial gifts) are still needed. In the season of Eastertide, I invite you to make a special present to the glory of God.

We will emerge from the pandemic and from our Eastertide celebration and preparation just as the disciples did on the day of Pentecost and for the rest of their lives! God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43.19), of which we are a part! So, what’s next is going to be glorious! Join me as we encounter it together!

Be blessed to be a blessing!

Pastor Joel


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