AE: After Easter

 
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Whether you receive your daily news from a town crier, newspaper, internet or television, each day you are presented with the TOP HEADLINE.  Some of these events are noteworthy tidbits. Some are life changing.

Imagine consecutive headlines from a weekend in the year of our Lord, 33 AD

·      KING OF THE JEWS CRUCIFIED!

·       TOMB FOUND EMPTY! 

·      JESUS CHRIST SEEN BY CLEOPAS FROM EMMAUS.  REAL OR FAKE?    (Luke 24:13-18)

Depending on your heart and level of faith, these headlines could have left you horrified, intrigued or full of hope. Many did not recognize the significance of these announcements.  Any headline has a one-day shelf life unless the message is transmitted through action.

At the Voorhees Campus, Pastor Steve opened with a few examples of life changing events; the printing press, American revolution, 9/11, smartphone and personal milestones like weddings and births. Many consider Easter THE MOST MOMENTOUS EVENT!  The post Easter question becomes: now that you’ve heard the good news, how have you shared it?

In a video seen at both Hope campuses, it was shown how messages of love and hope can be passed down from person to person. The originator may never know his/her full impact.  We all have a choice.  We can internalize Jesus or implement Him into our daily lives.  Can you identify Christ working in your life?   Do you have the courage to share it with others?

It didn’t take me long to identify one from early decades; the death of my mother as a teenager, becoming the parent of a handicapped child in my 20s, forced into a major career change in my 30s and 4 sudden deaths of family members in my 40s. Each event tested my faith.  None of them were easy rebounds.  The phrase bend but don’t break comes to mind.  In each case I knew that God was with me during my test, but I had to listen harder to hear His wisdom.  In all cases I wouldn’t have heard His message without others.  The primary person was my wife whose faith was boundless.  As a teacher, how many lives have I touched because she didn’t give up on me?

In Mt. Laurel Pastor Jeff equated  challenges to reliving our own personal Good Friday.  Even Christ questioned “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  It is human to question but God has given you the tools to survive.  All you need is faith.

He has also given you free will.  During every test you have a choice to deny your faith and curse the darkness, or to look for the light.  At Hope being part of an authentic Christian community is the realization that sometimes you need others to share your burdens. Allow others to pray for you when you can’t muster the strength.

Pastor Jeff told us that “maturity begins when you are just holding on but still maintain your faith.”  Find God in simple places and spread his message in informal ways. Participation in small groups helps.  Companionship around a social event sets a perfect stage to plant the seeds of the Good News. Remember when two or more are gathered in His name, things happen. 

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Hope bloggers share their hearts with you twice a week. This is one of our many small groups.  Do you want a small way to spread the good news?  Post a thought. Share our blog.  One share may lead someone new to watching the videocast, then taking the next step.  Like dropping a pebble in a pond your concentric rings of influence will keep going.

You will never be lost once you have faith that all roads are connected.  Christ’s message requires the interconnection of his flock.

Share the headline that changed the world forever

Christ died for your sins. 

He rose again on the third day

Now we all live in His grace

-Jim Randazzo

 
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