Revived To A Living Hope

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR APRIL 27, 2014

The Sunday after Easter is known as “Low Sunday.” That’s because after the high attendance in many churches for Easter Sunday, by contrast, this Sunday has the severest drop off of attendance of any two Sundays of the year. So all over the world this Sunday has come to be known as “Low Sunday.”

On Easter we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus by singing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, Alleluia!” “He Lives!” and “Because He Lives.” It’s a celebration of our faith that we serve a risen Savior and many came on Easter to be reminded of that wonderful news of our faith. It’s a pity that not nearly as many come the next week as the events on the Sunday after Easter is just as important to us individually as the resurrection events on Easter Sunday are to us collectively. Jesus appears for a second time to His disciples since His resurrection. Absent the first time, “Doubting” Thomas is now present and discovers Jesus really is alive because he is able to touch Jesus physically. Jesus responds “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” I believe this encounter, the Sunday after Easter that we call “Low Sunday” is designed by God that we might continually throughout be “revived to a living hope.”

Peter who is present writes later “”Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into and inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” You see, the fact that “Christ the Lord is Risen” is truly a reason to celebrate; but the fact that “He Lives” has implications for the living of our lives here and now as well as the hereafter. That good news is meant to revive us with a living hope.

John Claypool wrote this of Winston Churchill. “Churchill had planned his funeral, which took place in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. He included many of the great hymns of the church, and used the eloquent Anglican liturgy. At his direction, a bugler, positioned high in the dome of Saint Paul’s, intoned, after the benediction, the sound of Taps, the universal signal that says the day is over. But then came the most dramatic turn: As Churchill instructed, as soon as Taps was finished, another bugler, placed on the other side of the great dome, played the notes of Reveille – It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up in the morning.” That was Churchill’s testimony that at the end of history, the last note will not be Taps; it will be Reveille. The worst things are never the last things. That is also the testimony we are to take away from Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Christ. No matter what your situation may be, “no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey,” “it’s time to get up.” It’s time to be “revived to a living hope.”

\I hope you will buck the trend of “Low Sunday,” and join us for worship this week at Covenant and discover why we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” I will preaching as sermon called “Revived to a Living Hope” based on the scriptural texts of “I Peter 1:3-9” and “John 20:19-31.”

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