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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, April 2, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 Corinthians 15:1–11

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe. (NRSV)

Reflection
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

On Easter we all proclaimed this together. The sermon, music, hymns, and prayers declared that Christ had overcome death with life; hope had triumphed over despair; good had prevailed over evil. We were exhilarated and lifted up by the experience.

But it is easy to go back to our old ways and forget this life changing message even one day afterward. This was certainly the case for me and my wife a few years back when on the day after Easter our main sewage pipe burst, and we had water pouring into our basement. Walls had to be torn out and new plumbing installed. Hope? Good over evil? It suddenly seemed like a distant memory as we raced into the next crisis.

In today’s reading Paul writes to the people of Corinth, and to you and me, to remind all believers not to give up hope in that Easter joy. Knowing that we all need a reminder of the exuberance of Easter he writes, “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you . . . that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day.”

We all have challenges, many worse than leaking plumbing, but we need to remember the good news of the Easter message, let it sink into our souls and be changed by it. We are called as the children of God to live into that Easter joy with all our heart, mind, and soul. To bring the light of that morning into the darkest places of our lives and to share that light wherever we may go and wherever it may lead.

Prayer
May I be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, and may I be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to God, who has enabled me to share in the inheritance of the saints of light. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music


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