Looking for the Hope of Easter? Look to the church

                  In my youth, Easter began with the hunt for a basket of candies the Easter Bunny had hidden for my sister and me. It took me forever to find my basket, and I usually needed help. I could never finish those big chocolate bunnies!

                  It’s fitting that Easter is associated with searching for what we have hidden away or lost, be it eggs or baskets. For many, life can feel like one long search for something to make sense of it all; many of us feel like we are still looking for it. I think this is why so many people surprise themselves on Easter by stepping inside of a church building. They are searching for something more, something hidden, something that might give shape and meaning to their lives.

                  Jesus had no issues with people who were seeking for more. He encouraged it in these words:

                  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

                  The heart of Easter is an invitation to seek new life. The church’s claim is that Jesus was dead and is now alive – we believe that in his resurrection we have found the hidden hope of the entire cosmos. The hope that in him, in Jesus, all things will be made new.

                  I realize that may sound a bit far-fetched to you. There are days I’m surprised I believe it myself! But my encouragement to you, if you are seeking, is to look to what happened after the Easter event.

                  In the wake of the resurrection of Jesus, a new community was formed that we now call the church. This was a group of people bound together not by race or tribe or natio, but by the shared conviction that the risen Jesus Christ was Lord of all. And this motley, imperfect group of people transformed the world as we know it and continues to do so!

                  I have the privilege of being the pastor at Faith United Methodist Church, and each Sunday I look out at the congregation and am amazed at what I see. I see Congolese families who have fled the horrors of war from their homeland; I see Mizo Christians from Burma who have found a new home in which to worship; I see native Kentuckians lifting up their voices in song; I see college students discovering a new kind of community; I see children of all races and ages learning the rhythms and melodies of grace; I see our seniors discovering anew what it means to be church in this time and in this place.

                  My conviction is that there is no reason, apart from the resurrection of Jesus, that this should be possible. That these people should be together, two thousand years later, proclaiming the mystery of our faith (Christ had died, Christ is risen, Christ shall come again).

                  There is no good reason that people of different races, who speak different languages, who come from different places, should be living in community together; but here they stand, each Sunday, right before my eyes.

                  If you begin to seek out the mystery of Easter, you are going to be surprised by what you find. And it will change your life. And so, my simple encouragement is that if you are seeking the hidden power of Easter, look to the church. Join the celebration and wonder how any of it is possible.

                  At Faith United Methodist Church, we are attempting to be a church for all people, united by the powerful message of Easter. We are finding that what divides us is not as powerful or as important as who unites us; the ways we are different are not as inspiring as the ways God is pulling us together.

                  If you don’t have a church home, we hope you will join us this year for Easter as we celebrate the life that we have discovered in Christ. We would also love for you to join us in our 20th anniversary celebration, as we celebrate 20 years of ministry and as we look ahead to new ways to proclaim God’s kingdom right here in Bowling Green.

Join us for worship each Sunday at 10 a.m.

Easter Worship at Faith UMC, Sunday April 21

                  Sunrise Service: 6 a.m.

                  Easter Celebration: 10 a.m.

                  Easter Egg Hunt: 11 a.m. (after service)

Faith UMC’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Sunday April 28

                                    Worship: 10 a.m.

                  Community Meal: 11 a.m.

by Cambron Wright

About the Author: Cambron Wright is the pastor at Faith United Methodist Church, located at 600 Veterans Memorial Ln., in Bowling Green. For more information, see our website at www.faithmethodistbg.org.