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Apr 14, 2006
Thoughts for Easter 2006

I see so many issues before us as we lead congregations forward. Most of these issues are not new to us. Gnosticism is not new. Rumors about Jesus are not new. Whether it is "ice flows" on the Sea of Galilee, or did Jesus "know" where the stones were or did he marry Mary and have children...There is no limit to the speculations surrounding our faith...most of it simply vain speculations which donét change the central tenets of our faith.

He lived
He died
He rose again
He lives on in us..

Remember that first resurrection Sunday--it was hard to believe then, it is hard to believe now. We never have had proof, no one alive for thousands of years has "seen" the resurrected Jesus. All we have is the äwordë of others and our own experience. Were the Bible, the church, and all the documents, relics and "proofs" taken from us tomorrow, we would still have a inner conviction, a story of personal encounter and transformation, a living presence that guides, directs and keeps us. As we have seen from our sisters and brothers in China these "essentials" arenét so essential. Most in these countries only have stories or fragments of the New Testament. But they have stories of personal encounters, stories that sound like the stories you have.

So what is the point?

Take your story to heart. Take Godés unconditional love for you and allow it to flow from you to others. Others arenét asking for proof, except for the proof that Jesus Christ has changed your life. There is no story more powerful than that of a changed life. I had a woman this week tell me, "my husband is a new man. I mean new from the inside out. I keep pinching my self thinking I will wake up from this dream. But he is a new man. For the last two years he has demonstrated this change in his life. This is so real I canét doubt that God in Christ has changed him. And I see it every day...This is all the proof I need." You can fool some people some times, but not your family.

The story of personal transformation in Jesus Christ is a story worth telling. I hope this Easter you can find a way to tell that story, as you see it in the people near you. Give them hope this Easter. Give them a reason for the joy within them.

He is alive, just as he said!

What great news!

Have a Blessed Easter....