Hagerstown Church of the Brethren
15 S. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301-733-3565 * FAX: 301-733-3598

"Church in the Heart of the City with the City at Heart"
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

From Tim's Desk - April 2015

Christ is Alive! After weeks of joining Jesus on the long plod to the cross and Easter morning, the time has come to celebrate. As people of faith, we join with Christians around the world celebrating the greatest event in the Christian narrative. Christ conquers death and with it, human sin. What a morning, when bleakness turns to hope for God’s good earth.

This Easter has been extra special because it has felt more whole spiritually. The Easter story becomes so much more interesting having read the entire Gospel of Mark along the way through Lent. It has felt as though we have literally walked with Jesus and understood the twists and turns along his path to the cross. So for this April blog, I wanted to offer two reflections on how the Easter story becomes fuller in light of our journey through Mark’s whole Gospel.

First, along the journey we have heard Jesus repeatedly teach about the Kingdom of God. In these teachings throughout the Gospel, Jesus is inaugurating this Kingdom of God. So what then happens at the resurrection? I believe that in conquering death, Jesus has ascended his throne to be the king of this new kingdom on earth. Evil no longer wins on earth nor in heaven.

Second, because of the wholeness of our journey with Jesus, we have seen all of his interactions with his disciples. He has been preparing his disciples for their roles in the Kingdom of God. I pray that all of us have been feeling prepared for our lives of faith as well. How are we to live after the resurrection? Well, Jesus has prepared us for a post-resurrection world just like the first disciples. We are to take the lead in gospel proclamation and we are to take the lead in teaching by example. Jesus teaches us how to do both. He teaches us how to go deeply inward and examine our own faithfulness, cutting out those portions of our lives which do not lead to life. At the same time, he teaches us how to go boldly outward, claiming the power of Christ to do great works for the glory of God.

A post-resurrection world is one which has seen the King take his throne. We are servants of this servant king. But this king now needs us to be proclaimers of a great kingdom which is here and now and also more fully to come. So we become his disciples, inwardly examining our lives of faith, transitioning to sent-out apostles, boldly stepping out into this broken and blessed world.