Wednesday, May 01, 2019

SPRING; Through Jesus' Resurrection, In Christ YOU are a New Creation

Dear Friends in Christ,

It's spring! As I have been driving through the countryside this spring I have noticed a lot of
newborn calves. Some of them are still very small and in need of a mother's constant care and
supervision. Newborn calves, baby chicks, puppies and kittens--there's a lot of new life to
celebrate in the spring!

New life is God's gift to us at Easter. Christ was raised from the dead, and that means we
are set free from sin to live as new creations in Christ. Lent in the early church was traditionally
the season of preparation for Baptism. At the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday the candidates who
had been instructed were baptized, and on Easter, they began their new lives as children of God.
No wonder St. Paul wrote, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness oflife." (Romans 6:3-4 ESV) Easter, baptism, resurrection, new life-see
the connection?

The Introit for the Second Sunday of Easter begins with this antiphon from 1 Peter 2:2-3:
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual mile, that by it you may grow up into
salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." Now that we have been reborn in
Christ, we are to "grow up" in our faith. What awaits us when we "grow up"? Salvation!
What do we need as we grow? What do babies need for growth? What are calves and kittens and puppies nourished on in the newborn stage of life? Milk! The spiritual milk Peter is describing is the Gospel, God's nourishing Word and in particular the good news of God's love for us in Jesus. All of our lives as children of God (which is every day of our lives), we are growing in faith as we are nourished on the pure Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

In May we observe Mother's Day, and as God's children we are reminded what a blessing Christian mothers are to their families. The example of the father is certainly important, as we heard in a recent sermon, but a Christian mother is often the primary spiritual caregiver for her children. Timothy's mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were instrumental in Timothy's faith formation. (2 Timothy 1 :5) Many of us can remember our own mothers reading us Bible stories, talking about faith with us, even making sure we learned our memory work!

A Christian mother is a special gift of God. As we remember our mothers this Mother's
Day, both those who are still living and those who have gone to be with the Lord, let us take time
to give thanks to God for the care that they have given us in feeding us with the pure spiritual
milk of God's Word. Let us pray for those mothers who are raising their children today, that they
themselves may drink deeply from God's Word so they can pass that Word on to their children.
Finally, let us rejoice in being children of God, and in the new life He has given us through the
resurrection of Jesus. In Christ you are a new creation! Hallelujah!

Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Merrill

No comments: