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May 2023
Dear Friends,

Grace and Peace to you in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He is Risen! (I’ll assume you replied “He is risen indeed!”)

The Easter season is upon us and we continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that the Easter celebration happens during the beginning of Spring.
What better way to celebrate and observe new life than to actually see it happening right before
us in Mother Nature?

In rising from the grave, Jesus conquered sin and death. In rising from the grave, Jesus showed
us the power of resurrection. In rising from the grave, Jesus gave us the gift of new life.

New life. It sounds nice, but what does it mean?

Where do you see new life? Where do you need new life? Where does Jesus offer you new life?
New life in Christ means that you don’t have to keep living your old life. You don’t have to
continue pursuing the old things that hurt you, the things that hurt those around you. New life in
Christ gives us the opportunity to pursue that which is pleasing to God and to understand that it
is ultimately pleasing to us as well.

In giving himself to die for us on the cross, Jesus showed us that new life in Christ calls us to die
to ourselves in order to live for others. In order to rise anew, part of us has to die. The selfish,
unforgiving, angry, spiteful, greedy creature living inside all of us ought to be drowned in the
waters of baptism in order for the loving, humble, forgiving, grace-filled, compassionate follower
of Jesus within us to rise in the Easter promise of Jesus’ resurrection.

It won’t happen overnight. And, we won’t live up to who God calls us to be every day. But, the
resurrection promise reminds us that new life is possible and God has chosen us to carry on
building the Kingdom here on Earth. And, we will soon hear in the scriptures that God does not
leave us alone in our desire to live life anew or our mission to build God’s Kingdom, the gift of
the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and fills us with the ability and desire to love our neighbor as
our self and to do God’s work with our hands.

Christ is risen. Death has been conquered. Your sins are forgiven.
Show the world the power of the resurrection with the way you live, the way you love, and the way you serve.

Your sibling in Christ,
Pastor Robert