The Columns – March 2016

FAITHLINK

Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” –Luke 24:1-7

One of the most thought-provoking questions in all of scripture is found in this witness account of the resurrection. It is applicable to all of life, especially if we are seeking to experience some form of life-transformation, whether spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, financial or relational. Listen again to the question.

“WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?”

The hallmark of the Christian faith is that we declare the resurrection of Jesus the Christ! There is nothing more significant or beautiful than the truth of this historical reality. The fullness of God, pleased to dwell in the person of Jesus, who is Christ our Savior, provided for the whole world a vivid demonstration of life overcoming death. The resurrection of Jesus reveals the promise of God’s faithfulness to rescue the world, and deliver humanity from sin and death into the everlasting glory of a restored creation filled with God’s presence. This is abundant life. And the remarkable gift that the resurrection offers to us is that we can enter this abundant life here and now.

But we must do something to fully experience this new reality. We must stop looking for the living among the dead! We must stop trying to find life by going to the places of death in our lives. The resurrection reminds us that the power of God’s love is strong enough to undo the power of death. And as we trust this love of God, we are also challenged by this question. In our lives, are we still looking for life among the dead? Are we returning to sinful habits thinking that they will give us life? Are we continuing to surround ourselves with things that rob us of life, when God has promised to surround us with His Holy Spirit, to fill us and give us abundant life? Are we still filling our minds with thoughts and images that stand in the way of God’s desire to bring about transformation by the renewing of our minds? Are we holding onto grudges, anger and unforgivness, failing to recognize that God gave the life of His One and Only Son, to offer complete forgiveness for the whole world, including you and me?

“WHY DO YOU LOOK FOR THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?”

The resurrection of Jesus is the full measure of God’s restored creation breaking into the world. It is the undoing of death, the fulfillment of the promise of new life. Let us find our abundant life by looking to the author of true life! By the grace of the Living Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, may we stop looking for life among the dead, and learn to walk in the unwavering covenant love of God our Father.

Make sure to take part in these opportunities leading up to Easter Sunday
Pig Roast Eggstravaganza – March 13 starting at 11:00AM at Rice Farm
• Maundy Thursday – March 24 at 6:00PM in the Sanctuary
• Good Friday Musical Offering – 11:00AM in the Sanctuary
• Good Friday Service – 12:00PM in the Sanctuary

Contact Information
REV. DEREK JOYCE • Associate Pastor • djoyce@fumcshreveport.orgfaithlinkfumc.org

HEATHER GUNTER • Director of Contemporary Worship • hgunter@fumcshreveport.orgfaithlinkfumc.org

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