by Pastor Richard

for the week beginning Sunday, April 20, 2014

Claudia and I have a painting at our house that we see every day. The title of the painting is RISEN. We’ve brought it to church today in the hope that you also will be blest by it. Enjoy!

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My Easter celebrations began on Palm Sunday with a group of you men at Forest Home. Palm Sunday evening I observed communion. Claudia and I continued with the Prayer Breakfast on Good Friday that some of you joined me at. Then they continued at the Sunrise Service this morning and now together with you in worship of our risen Lord. And this afternoon we will be gathering in our back yard with family to celebrate.

The Old Testament prophets pointed toward it and the first disciples of Jesus proclaimed it.  When we CLING TO THAT OLD RUGGED CROSS as the familiar hymn encourages us to do, we are not doing so out of mere sentimentality.  The cross of Jesus Christ is the heart of our message and the heart of our power.  The cross is the hinge upon which the door of history swings.  It is the hub that holds the spokes of God’s purposes in a grand unity.

Even though bunnies, eggs and other commercial images saturate the marketplace, 55 percent of Americans polled identified Jesus as the most recognized symbol of Easter.  Even 41 percent of people who do not identify themselves as Christians associate Christ on the cross with the holiday.  Only 11 percent selected the Easter Bunny, eggs and jelly beans, while 16 percent associated Easter with family gatherings. The true meaning of Easter wins out over the consumer-driven aspect of the holiday.  Let’s get the TRUE STORY out there.

Pictures from our recent men’s conference at Forest Home are on the monitor in the lobby for you to stop by and visit today.

Services for Bob Ragan are April 21. Speak with Mrs. Peak for details or contact the church office.

My Easter Sunday morning message will be HAVE YOU EVER LOST HOPE? April 27 we will resume our studies in 1 Corinthians 13 where Tim Ramos and I co-teach.

God’s best to you,

Pastor Richard

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