Greetings from the Moderator APRIL 2023
April this year brings us the end of Lent and the celebration of Holy Week and the beginning of the Easter season. In the church we celebrate Easter not just as a day but as a particular season that lasts all the way to Pentecost, the story of the beginning of the church. Our Presbyterian Church USA website (which you want to discover at www.pcusa.org for many wonderful stories and videos of the church, its seasons and our part in its life) describes Easter this way:
The season of Easter is intended to be a joyful time for celebrating the presence of the risen Christ in the church…. Of course, Easter really isn’t just a season either. In the fullest sense, Easter is a new way of life — in which we are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11), called to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Every year, for fifty days, the church celebrates and rehearses this new way of life in the Season of Easter — as we await its completion in the fullness of Christ’s reign.
I like to wonder about what that time must have been like for the first disciples. Imagine with me for a minute how wonderful it would be to be able to see and touch and learn directly from the risen Lord. How would you want to make the most of that time? What would you want to ask? How deeply would you feel the promise of life forever with the Lord? How would you be changed in that encounter?
Um, well, if you are as taken to flights of fancy as I am, you are likely thinking about what a privilege that would be and how life changing for you, to have your deepest questions answered, to be able to tell the risen Christ directly how grateful you are for his presence in your life. How you would promise to dedicate your life on earth to his service whatever that meant. If you’re there, I invite you to take a look at the story of the Ascension in the first chapter of Acts. There we see those first disciples after forty days with the risen Christ still hoping he will do things on their terms, ‘bring in the kingdom’ as they put it. They are a good reminder to me that even in the presence of the risen Christ, which we daily are, there is always temptation to want things on our own terms, to ask Christ to do what we want rather than asking what he wants from us.
I hope that this Eastertide, you find yourself rejoicing in the glad good news of Easter, celebrating the love of God who in Christ was willing to die that we might have life and pondering the ways in which that love really is life changing for you.