The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. - Acts 5:30-31
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Last night at council I was ticking off all the awesome things that the Holy Spirit has been up to at church. Here are a few numbers:
8 - We are expecting to welcome 8 new members this week!
12 - Already this year, we have had twelve applications for baptism.
13 - On Maundy Thursday we celebrated thirteen students for their First Communion.
15 - For the mission trip, we’re up to fifteen high school participants who will be coming out to Sky Ranch, Colorado with us, including some new kids to the church!
343 - On Easter Sunday at the 9am service, we had three hundred forty-three worshippers! Easily the most in one service since the pandemic.
Numbers don’t paint the whole picture, of course, but they can give us an idea of the shape and the outline. And right now they are telling the story of a church that God’s Spirit is moving in. Christ is risen indeed!
At times it might seem too good to be true – as if we’re seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Thomas certainly felt that way. Reports of Jesus rising from the dead? It sounds absurd on its surface. I would have wanted to see the wounds in Jesus’ hands and side just as much as him. But it was true! Jesus was risen, just as the other disciples had said.
The next few weeks are a time for us to celebrate. Christ is risen from the dead! The tomb is empty. Death has been conquered. It’s a time for us to take stock of where God is moving in our own lives as well. What are those signs of life – signs of the Holy Spirit – that you see in your daily routines?
Christ is alive! The Spirit is moving at Bethany. God is at work in your life as well.
Christ is risen indeed!