All Things New

What a horrible and wonderful day.

I’m writing this newsletter article on March 22nd… the Tuesday before Easter.  This morning, we woke to the news of another terrorist attack, this time in Brussel’s – a city I have visited on a few occasions (great chocolate!!!).  Such a meaningless loss of life in such a beautiful European city – the power of evil at its worst. 

Then this afternoon, I found myself at Alton Memorial Hospital to meet the newest member of my family.  You all don’t know this yet (at least you don’t as I am writing this – but you found out on Easter Sunday), but SURPRISE… Jen and I are having a baby!!!  His (yes, I’m projecting) heartbeat is strong, and he’s growing quite nicely – with another 28 weeks until he arrives and turns our life (and maybe yours) upside down.

Life is full of paradoxes.  It’s happy and sad… joyful and mournful… thrilling and monotonous.  This side of the Easter cross we revel in the glory of Jesus’ resurrection, but just a few days ago we were journeying toward a cruel cross and certain death.

There is power in Easter’s empty tomb.  Hope is born again in the person of Jesus who has already defeated death – especially the death of innocent civilians going about their daily lives in Brussels – and out of the grave brings us the gift of new life (sometime around October 10th).

It’s my prayer that you will find an empty tomb in your struggles.  A place of freedom amongst your chains.  

A glimmer of hope in your darkened room… for God is making all things new.  (Rev 21:5).  From the murkiest of shadows can come a fresh breeze of life.  It doesn’t always happen on our timetable, but it is happening, even as you read this.

May grace and peace be yours afresh in this paradox of death and life, caught between the coming of Jesus and Jesus’ coming again.

Pastor Mike +

Michael Rayson