April 2017 Newsletter Article from Pastor Carol Stufflebeam
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
One of the most powerful Easter experiences I have had took place around 1980. We were living in Quantico, Virginia at that time and decided that we would attend the Easter Sunrise Service which began before sunrise. When we awoke that morning there was a thick blanket of fog covering our entire region. The drive to the lake where the worship service was held was so shrouded…to me it was somewhat mysterious. At the lake we parked and made our way to the worship service area, as we walked across the field the trees only became visible as we came near them. Towards the end of the service the sun began to rise behind the large cross that had been placed next to the lake, with every minute that passed the fog began to slowly lift until the cross was in complete view. It was a dramatic experience orchestrated by God and a powerful reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
As I reflect upon that experience I am reminded that there was a time when the disciples did not understand entirely why Jesus had come to journey with them through that season of their lives. When Jesus was arrested by the soldiers and Jewish police, they fled out of fear. It wasn’t until after His resurrection that they began to understand the reason for His life and ministry. When Jesus met with His disciples after He had made Himself known to two of His followers in the village of Emmaus, He said to them:
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:44-48, NRSV)
We are blessed to live on this side of the cross; the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples, speaks to us today through the power of the Holy Spirit. My prayer for you this Easter is that you may know of God’s love for you through Jesus Christ.