By Marcy Barthelette

Sunday, April 17, 2022, Easter Journal Entry   

What shall I render to the Lord for all His bounty to me. Psalm 116:12

It began in the pre-dawn darkness as I slept deeply, awaiting the day. I felt it, its sweet scent wafted over me. A peacefulness embraced me, love enfolded me and I knew I was a forgiven child of God. I awoke to the awareness of Easter morning. Alleluia! 

There was no sunshine, but Ken asked if I had been awakened by a tremendous bolt of lightning followed by a rolling clap of thunder. I had not, I had been wrapped in total peace. Perhaps my peace was delivered by that lightning, perhaps it was the rising up of Jesus from the grave. Did you feel it? Alleluia!

He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come see the place where they laid him. Matthew 28:6

I thought it compelling that lightning had been a part of our early morning experience because later Pastor Dennis addressed the gleaming brightness of the men at the tomb, a brightness so great it compared to lightning. Their message? We have completed the season of Lent. All the preparation, all the introspection, all the pain, all the loss. And now, He lives again. Alleluia!

I’ve often heard the question; “Why did Judas do it? Why did he betray our Lord? Well, someone had to do it to fulfill the ancient prophecies concerning the Messiah’s time on earth. Judas was the chosen one. Jesus had to die in order to save us and someone had to be the bad guy, the stand-in, so to speak, for each of us. Judas is our representative, for we have all been tempted by the glitter of our world. Each of us, before Jesus lived and still today, as well as tomorrow, has had a part in his torture and death. We have all fallen short.

But here’s the good news. He forgives! Alleluia!

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. I Corinthians 1:18

As Ken and I settled in to watch the Sunday service online, we were excited to welcome the angelic voices of Casey and Hannah as they brought the Easter message alive in song and they tugged at my heartstrings as their beautiful words permeated every fiber of my being. I am so grateful they are always ready to share their gifts.

Pastor Sarah offered her beautiful words of prayer, the requests for healing brought to her by caring followers. Her concern for each and every one of them is evident in her voice. Her prayers, too, are a gift, one she shares so willingly.

Pastor Dennis re-enforced the promise of the resurrection once again and through his spoken words, we find the hope of Easter morning. His enthusiasm tells us that he is a totally dedicated servant and we can always count on him to share our good times and the not-so-good ones.

As our service ended, the praise band offered a rousing response to God’s invitation to us; one phrase was especially meaningful…..

You called my name and I stepped out of that grave! Again I say, Alleluia, Alleluia!

We all started out in that grave, but Jesus opened our hearts and minds to prepare us for the continuation of His work. Our church family is blessed with many willing hearts, many willing pairs of hands, and many talents and gifts they are just waiting to share. Jesus has made his journey to the cross, He has born our stripes, He has died a horrific death just for us, and He has overcome death to return and live with His Father. I want to be a part of His family.

What can you ( I ) do today to step into God’s invitation to love others like He does?  Bob Goff

Leave a Reply