We are a community united in God’s love, actively sharing that love with all.
April 10, 2020
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior!
Some 2,000 years ago, something strange and miraculous happened at a tomb outside of Jerusalem that would change the world. In the days leading up to that first Easter, the Roman authorities and chief priests of the Temple were trying to squelch a movement led by a Jewish peasant. This movement gave hope to people of better future and new understanding of a God of compassion, justice and love. And yet on that first Easter morning, there was not much hope because this man Jesus had been put to death and buried in that tomb. There was an impenetrable darkness that pervaded the land.
In this extraordinary time we are living in, we too feel like a darkness has permeated our very souls. We are faced with a virus that has spread like wildfire throughout the world. We are confronted daily with reports of those who have lost their lives in this pandemic. Some of us have people close to us that are suffering now from this virus. In a matter of a few weeks our world has been totally turned upside down, and we are left fearful and our lives thirsty for a return to normal.
Our Gospel reading this Easter is from the Gospel of Matthew. In it we read that after the women had encountered the risen Christ, he commanded them, “Do not be afraid…” (Matthew 28:10 NRSV). We should take great solace in these powerful words because they give us the power to confront our own anxiety and fear. They teach that in conquering the very thing we fear most, Christ Jesus showed us that that Love that conquer death is the same Love we must hold on to in these times.
This is precisely the reason why the Church exists, and I hope you know that even amid this crisis, your own church continues to live this Love out in the world. I want you to know that I, along with our staff, continue to pray for you daily. We also started our Basic Care Groups as a way for you to feel our love for you. These groups are a way for all of us to be connected, to care for one another, and to meet any needs that you might have as we shelter in place. If you have not been assigned to a Care Group, please contact our office at (925) 934-4208.
I also wanted to note that this is just one of the wonderful things our church is doing in living out Love during this pandemic. Our youth are now meeting weekly using virtual technology. Groups like Bead and a Prayer are doing the same. And, of course, we are taping our worship services and putting them up on our website and church Facebook page.
We thank you for your support and prayers during this time. We especially want to thank all those who continue to give their offering to our church. We cannot do all the wonderful ministries nor have our capable staff without your support. Please remember that you can send your offering by mailing it to the church office or give online by accessing the giving page on our church website.
Finally, I want to offer you these words of a hymn we sing often in church. In the hymn Because He Lives, it says…
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
I hope that you find great comfort and hope in these words. They give us certainty in the face of adversity. Please remember that each day is a new day. We must live fully in the present knowing each day is worth the living. And know that Christ lives. His values of Love and Compassion are present and fully alive this day and every day!
The Rev. Colin Kerr-Carpenter
Senior Pastor, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church