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March 2024

Pastor’s Perspective – March 2024


A Time For Resurrection

We are living in a moment that seems unfixable.  We are currently preparing for a Presidential election between two ethically compromised octogenarians; our debt seems beyond uncontrollable; and international crises that have been put off for decades have all come for payment at the same time. What happens when you can no longer simply patch the wound and move forward?

When Jesus emerged from the tomb, He was a new creature; unrecognizable even by those closest to Him.  We often ignore this aspect of resurrection; that it somehow changed Him. In many ways the tomb of Jesus was a cocoon of sorts, allowing for a comprehensive transformation (even to the point of Him telling Mary not to touch Him…yet).  If even the resurrected Jesus needed time and transformation, then why would we assume that we are exempt from this task?

Well-meaning Christians have been attempting to fix the unfixable for a long time.  We have tried everything to restore the life and vigor not-only of the Church, but the world itself.  Sadly, nothing we have done has brought us back to spiritual and relational health.  Some Churches have tried tough love, sharing a gospel of separation and rebuke.  Others have attempted a campaign of appreciation and tolerance; lowering the expectations of the gospel to make sure that everyone can feel welcome.

We have made plans and strategized, but each attempt stubbornly maintains our own will and way in the process.  Each school of thought has believed that somehow maintaining WHO we are is more important than conforming to Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We have embraced the temptation that we can fix the problems of our world without losing our self interest and will. We want to be fixed without being changed.  Stubbornly refusing to rest in our chrysalis for fear that we will lose our inner caterpillar, and thereby robbing ourselves of our true form. Our failure to “take up our Cross” and “die to self” is crippling our capacity for God to change us for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the benefit of the kingdoms of the world.  Our people are emerging from the safety of the Church half-baked with brittle unusable wings, and a body incapable of the new life in Christ.

Which is why it is so important for the Church to embrace the principles not only of Easter Sunday, but also of Holy Week this year. We all seek to be ‘born again’ or ‘raised in Christ in resurrection,’ but few of us are willing to release our own identity and authority to be reborn or raised.  Churches that seek resurrection without death to self, are barking up the self-help gospel; always attempting to fix ourselves without ever submitting our body to be crushed by the potter and reformed into a new creature.

Death to self is frightening, which is why we avoid it, but if Jesus is truly our only hope, then we must follow Him completely. To our annihilation. Buried with Christ. Transformed and raised with Him to new life.

As we celebrate Easter this year, let us remember that without death, there can be no resurrection, and without resurrection there can be no salvation and change in our world.  Let us take up our crosses and follow Jesus into a new identity, a new life, and a new hope.

Happy Easter,

Pastor Dan