Early on Sunday morning

Dear Church Family,
 
In so many ways, it doesn’t feel like Easter. There are no plans to visit family. We’re not expecting a big crowd (or any crowd for that matter) at the church building this weekend. There’ll be no handshakes at the door or the smell of Easter lilies in the air. We’ll be welcoming the resurrection of our Lord from home this year, and we’ll do so in an anxiety-ridden season, a season filled with unrest and uncertainty about the future. But then again, isn’t that how followers of Jesus welcomed the first Easter? The first Easter didn’t begin with celebration. It didn’t start off with shouts of victory and alleluia. Instead, it began in darkness.
  
Listen to how John starts the Easter account.
  
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb…
John 20:1a (NLT emphasis mine)
 
John reminds us that it was dark that first Easter. Light and darkness are major themes in John’s Gospel, so John is not just talking about the time of day. He is saying that reality was bleak. Jesus had been executed. The Lord of life — who had welcomed the outcast, fed the hungry, healed the blind, and cast out demons — had been tried unjustly and put on a Roman cross. There was no cause for hope. There was no reason for celebration. Life was bad. And yet God stepped into the darkness that first Easter even as God did in the story of Creation and brought forth light – he resurrected his Son from the dead.
  
Perhaps for the first time ever you and I will be experiencing Easter from the same vantage point of those first followers of Jesus. We’ll be reminded that, even while it’s dark, God is up something, and his resurrection power is at work. Thanks be to God.
 
Blessings,
Chris
 
p.s., Just a reminder that our Good Friday service is later tonight at 6:30PM. Our normal Easter Weekend Services will be as follows: Saturday at 6:30PM, and Sunday morning at 8:30AM and 10:30AM. Finally, we will have a Sunrise Service at 6:30AM on Sunday. We hope you will join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cofumc/) or on our website (www.communityoffaith.org/livestream-services/) for all these services.