Outdoor Easter Service at 1909 Highland Ave
May 12, 2023
Rev. Paul Alf
What a glorious day we had on Easter morning with an outdoor service at our soon to be new location on Highland Ave. The sun was out on a beautiful morning, great turnout, a great time of worship and prayer over that community…we even had people from the community join us. God is faithful!!!
At the Service, we focused on all the encounters in the gospel of John where Jesus appears to people after he resurrected from grave. The first encounter was with Mary Magdalene in John 20:10-18. Mary who was weeping at the tomb, was confused at who took Jesus’ body, and still mourning her Rabbi’s death. Jesus appeared to her during her weeping, she didn’t recognize him, until He said her name. Through that we see that the Resurrected King meets us in our hurting and our mourning.
Jesus then appeared to the disciples in verses 19-23. All the disciples (minus Thomas) were all in one place with the doors locked because they were afraid. The disciples were afraid that the Jewish law and roman soldiers would come after them next. They were afraid of what’s next for them now that their leader was dead. In their fear, the Resurrected King appeared to them and breathed peace over them. In our fear, the Resurrected King meets with us and gives us peace.
Jesus then appeared to Thomas in verses 24-31. Thomas heard that all the other disciples saw Jesus, that He is not dead, he is alive. He doubted. He needed to see it with his own eyes. In his doubt Jesus appeared to him to show him the holes in his hands and his side. In our doubts, the Resurrected King meets with us to help us believe.
Lastly in the Gospel of John, chapter 21, we see that Jesus appeared to Peter at the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter couldn’t catch any fish, heard a voice from the shore telling him to cast the net on the other side. Peter instantly remembered the first time he met Jesus, almost like deja vu. He recognized that voice and jumped out of the boat to run to Jesus. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, not once, not twice, but three times. He asked him three times for every time he denied Him before Jesus died. The Resurrected King met Peter in his shame and gave him grace.
So on Easter Sunday, on the grounds of our new church building, the Resurrected King appeared to us as we gathered together. And we believe that He will continue to meet us there, in that church, in that community for a long time to come. God is Faithful!!!