Today is Good Friday—obviously an irony-laden title—but in three days we will observe Easter. Easter is the good news on which the birth of the church at Pentecost is predicated. Thus we rejoice and ponder the nature of the church which will be filled this Sunday, as it rarely is.
Luke sees conversion as a process worked out in the heart of the church. The Jerusalem community prays together (Acts 1:14, 24 25; 2:42 45; 4:32 35); it shares life (4:32), meals (Acts 2:46 47), faith (Acts 4:20), and material goods (Acts 2:44 45; 4:32 35), and it lives in an atmosphere of joy (Luke 24:52). Although there are signs of early persecution, the Twelve continue to preach the Word: “They rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And every day in the Temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah” (Acts 5:41 42).
As we draw near to the end of Lent and the beginning of Easter, we, as United Methodists, carry on the work of Christ’s church that has gone on before us for 20+ centuries. Our prayer is that despite our disappointments in individuals within our church—either leaders or followers—we recognize that we are Christ’s people. This means we are called upon to give the best that we have and be the people Christ expects us to be. My hope is that we can all become part of a community that prays, shares, and has faith together. If we can do this, by God’s good grace, then we will indeed be a community of joy.
I look forward to a glorious Easter this Sunday at the worshipping place!