It does not seem that long ago that I was typing the Christmas letter and dreading snow yet here we are nearing Easter already. Perhaps you know now the reason for the somewhat ominous tone of the Christmas letter with its focus on ‘change’. Change was in the air for my family and me, now it is for all of us who call Fourth Avenue Baptist our church family.
Of course Easter is all about change. The season is changing, the air is warming, the days are lengthening, the winter toys are giving way to motorcycles. But the change in season pales in comparison to the change Easter points us to.
Dead people do not rise. That is our experience. That is what scientists would point us to. It is what artists and philosophers often reflect upon. But on that first Easter morning something did change. A dead man did rise to life.
On one level, the resurrection of Jesus changes everything. It changes ethics. The letter of the law takes a back seat to the Spirit of the law. It changes hope. Hope for the nation Israel on the world stage becomes hope for every individual in a whole new way. It changes the facts about us. Once considered enemies of God, now we are His children. It changes the future. Once heading away from God, we are now heading toward Him. It changes the experience of death. The dead will rise. I could go on and on about the changes Easter brings. But that would be preaching!
On another level, the resurrection of Jesus demonstrates how there is so much that did not change. God is holy. We see this clearly throughout the Old Testament. With Easter, God’s holiness does not change, in fact it is highlighted. God is love. We see this clearly throughout the Old Testament. With Easter, God’s love does not change, it is not diminished, it shines even brighter. Yes, everything changed with the resurrection of Jesus that first Easter, yet there are some things that remain firm and unchanging.
Change is coming to the church family known as Fourth Avenue Baptist. Actually we can hardly speak about change coming when it is more true to say it never left. There will be a new pastor, and likely a new pastor’s family. There may be a new preaching style to get used to. There may be new routines, new ministries. But much remains the same. There will still be a love for music. There will still be a love for diversity. There will still be a call from our Lord to follow, and follow closely. Fourth Avenue Baptist will still be a church family God wants to use for his glory and the blessing of people.
Change is coming to us as a family. Change is coming to you as a church family. Change may be coming your way as an individual. Enjoy the good changes and the opportunities they bring. Enjoy also the fact that there is much that remains the same!
Thank God everything changed that first Easter. Thank God for what didn’t!
Sandra the boys and I wish you a wonderful Easter. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your lives, and to share in the ministry here at Fourth Avenue Baptist.