Volume 14, Issue 4
On April 1, 2018, the Church celebrates the festival of the Resurrection of the Lord (or Easter Sunday). Easter Sunday is the center of the Christian year. On this occasion the church joyfully proclaims the good news that is at the very heart of the gospel: that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.
It is sometimes said that every Sunday is a little Easter. Liturgical theologian Laurence Stookey suggests that it might be more appropriate to say that every Easter is a great Sunday. Easter Sunday is the Lord’s Day on steroids, a great annual celebration of Christ’s resurrection on the first day of the week. As such, the service should be centered around the typical and fundamental elements of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day: the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Easter Sunday is also an especially appropriate time for the sacrament of Baptism, if not celebrated during the Easter Vigil of the previous night.
Easter Sunday is something like the keystone of an arch — the top and center stone upon which all the other stones lean and depend — both in terms of its theological significance and its relation to other events in the Christian year. Theologically speaking, the faith we claim and the life we live depend on the affirmation, celebration and proclamation of Christ’s resurrection. In a chronological sense — since Easter is a “moveable feast,” taking place on a different date each year — all the other events of the Christian year (from the Transfiguration of the Lord and Ash Wednesday through Pentecost and Trinity Sunday) pivot around the date of Easter Sunday, shifting accordingly.
For Western Christians (Catholics and Protestants) the date of Easter is the first Sunday that comes after the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21 (the Spring Equinox) — occasionally shifted to the following Sunday, when the original date happens to coincide with the Jewish Passover. This computation means that Easter always occurs sometime between March 22 and April 25, inclusive. The Eastern Churches (Greek and Russian Orthodox, e.g.) use a different set of astronomical tables based on the Julian Calendar (instead of the Gregorian), which means that Orthodox Easter generally follows the Western date by one, four, or five weeks (sometimes occurring in early May).
An excerpt from the Companion to the Book of Common Worship describes Easter as follows:
Pascha [or Easter] is the central event, the time of transformation, of becoming a resurrected people, God’s new people. On this Sunday of all Sundays, Pascha, we celebrate our transformation as a new people. When Christ rose from the grave, death and all other “principalities and powers” that seek to entomb God’s will were forever defeated.
Easter is not simply the miracle of a dead person raised from the grave, but a celebration of power that can shatter death in order that people can freely serve the God of life. In the resurrection of Christ, God’s awesome purposes were on display, revealing a radically new world of peace and harmony and equality and mutuality, about which we can only dream. The Lord of the future has been disclosed to us. Both the incarnation at Christmas and the resurrection at Easter testify to the lordship of Christ.
On Easter we glimpse a new landscape — the age to come — and experience a sense of holy awe at the significance of the resurrection for human life. The shape of the age to come reveals a new people of God, a new humanity.
When Christ was crucified, humanity died with him on Calvary. But on Easter morning, a new world was born — raised up with the crucified and risen Christ. Bursting the bonds of death, the first human being of a new human race, Jesus Christ, appeared among those who crucified him. In the midst of the old sin-struck world, God gave the world a new beginning, a new humanity. By faith the old guilt-ridden humanity was born again into the new forgiven humanity of Jesus Christ. Ever since, here and there, clusters of the new people of God live according to the new social order of the new age.
Therefore, Easter faith recalls the past, especially the awesome act of God in raising the crucified Christ from the grave. Easter hope looks to the promised future, to that which awaits us. Easter love celebrates the presence of the crucified and risen Christ who is now among us, reconciling us as one people. Resurrection faith asserts that by grace we are born again into the new humanity of Jesus Christ. We are called to new life for God and for neighbors. As representatives of the new humanity we walk in newness of life.
Praise God! Pastor Tony
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: email@example.com. Please join us at 112 West Third Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
In Our Family
Pray for: Bernie Grossardt’s continued healing; Eileen Fox on the death of her sister; Alice Considine at her birthday time; Marge Talbott family; Cheryl Loeffler/Bob McDowell families
Give Praise for: Gwen Haspels successful surgery; Heather and Habtom’s good news of the camp work; The Neighbor’s store; The Wonderful Joy of Easter!
April Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
22 Jason Grossardt 23 Hope Habtom 26 Alice Considine
John & Gwen Haspels, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maundy Thursday is almost upon us and I am taken back to many such days in Tulegit when we would have a foot washing before the evening service. So many Suri and Baale would come to have their feet washed by foreigners, teachers, evangelists and after a few years by leaders in the church. It was a wonderful time of blessing those feet that we washed. It was rainy season so many were muddy and many had sores on their legs and many children had distorted feet due to sand fleas (bojalis). We would bless the feet with healing and ask the Father to direct the feet into His path and bring them into the kingdom. I had a small revelation at 5 am today that I would love to wash the feet of Tugu Dusai Be bala (the one who shot us). What a privilege that would be to show that Jesus loves him so much!! I pray that Holy Spirit will take that love I felt well up in me and direct it thousands of miles away to where he is in Suri land. As Rusty Salemon put it once – his name can be remembered by calling him “too good to die”. Please pray for him this Easter season to come to know the Savior. We bless you all with a renewal of faith and joy at the resurrection.
Serving Christ Together, Gwen and John Haspels
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: email@example.com
Nairobi is wet and chilly. Of course, compared to what the America north east is suffering through, this is not so bad. We appreciate the rain! This past year was very dry, and now we are getting an abundance. Even the dry Northern Kenya has been enjoying some rainfall. Of course, as the picture shows, too much rain isn’t great either. So often we find ourselves complaining about one thing, only to end up complaining about the opposite. Isn’t it comforting to know that our God has it all under control. That’s not to say it is all easy, we all know that isn’t true. But He walks beside us, encouraging, comforting and often carrying us as we go. It reminds me of the song “Blessed be Your Name.” When things are easy and comfortable, blessed be His name. When things are harsh and dry, blessed be His name. When things are wet and cold, blessed be His name. He alone is worthy to be Praised!
The kids come home in a week. We are always excited to have them home, even if it is just for a month. After Easter we are planning to go to Northern Kenya, near the border with Ethiopia, to work on housing for short term missionaries. I have been waiting on this project until there was sufficient rain in the area to warrant using precious water in the making of cement. The irony is that there may now be too much rain making the roads nearly impassible. Pray for us the first week of April as we travel and work together. Pray that this work vacation will be a great time together as a family away from the city and technology. May this be a time of family fellowship as well as appreciating the Kenyan bush and the people who live there.
Thank you for Praying for E from last month’s update. They will be moving away from the Mu$lem family they have built friendships with, but they feel as though this is the direction God is giving them. She will continue to be a part of the South Asia Ministry team and will try to keep those relationships, but is also nervous about who the Lord has next for them to build relationships with and witness to. Pray for S and L who are just back from home assignment. Pray that they will be able to reconnect with their South Asian friends and share Christ as the one true God. Thank you all for your prayers and support.
Just a thought: First Samuel 17 carries the story of David and Goliath. I am sure we all know it or at least a version of it. But one of things I heard in a sermon this past week takes place in verse 29. David has just come to the camp where the Israelites are trembling before the voice of Goliath. David is asking what is going on when one of his brothers ridicules him. David’s answer to his brother: “Is there not a cause?” Often times, we as Christians, are ridiculed for sharing our faith in our One, Creator, Loving, God. OR maybe we are rejected because we will not endorse a specific lifestyle. Or maybe we are despised for moving our families to hard areas where God has asked us to go. But, is there not a cause? Can we stand before a lost generation and not share what He has done for us? Can we stand idly by and watch people fall into deception? Do we not owe our Savior everything, even life itself? Is there not a cause?
I encourage you to watch this video:. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x307rr7 It is the story of missionaries from Ireland that went to the Congo and lived through the bloody Simba Rebellion of the 1960s. One of the missionaries on our South Asia Ministry team is Steve, his father is Hector mentioned in the movie. This is a BBC production, but doesn’t water down the message. Watch it yourself before you show it to children, it is very powerful. If the link doesn’t work, Google: “daily motion Belfast to Congo.” Go Bless!
In Christ, John and Joy, Acacia, Charlie, Sianna, Tierra Haspels
This is our new online giving page: https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1032600
Habtom, Heather, Faith & Hope Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: firstname.lastname@example.org * theantiochpartners.org
Dear Friends and Family,
Camp- We have really enjoyed our trips to the camp. The number of children has slowly increased to 29 regular. Before the faithful attendance was close to 24 youth. The smiles on their faces brings joy to our hearts. Recently Habtom took up teaching the younger group while the young man, Philip, who was hired by the camp to oversee the afterschool program, works with the older children. Teaching has been an eye opener for us. The kids that are in Habtoms group are in 3rd grade but they can’t even spell their name. By this grade they are expected to know the English alphabet and some basic words. At the camp they have been tracing letters, but do not recognize the letters separately, or even colors. Habtom is starting at the very beginning and making it fun. On top of that we have been doing fun activities. Right now, we are just trying to help them follow directions by playing games like “Simon says!”. The kids really enjoyed playing with the volleyballs and bouncy balls, as well as, playing with the jump ropes. During the snack time we sometimes take a little something special for them to eat. Even during that time, we are trying to help them learn respect, serving and even thankfulness. Faith and Hope really enjoy participating in playing with and serving the children. We appreciate your prayers for these children.
-The camp is working out a deal with the local city officials. It is looking like the camp will not be required to pay 10 million birr. Thanks for praying! – Things are claim for the most part in the country. A new leader has not been voted in. Thanks for praying. Let us know how we can partner with you in prayer or praise. Thank you for all your prayers and support.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. God bless, Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida email@example.com
My dear Partners in Ministry,
“…pray for us…that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…”
As the verse in Colossians says & is echoed in so many other passages in the NT letters, the Gospel ministry is fueled by prayer because spiritual rebirth is a work that only God can do. I am always conscious of this & so aware of my need for the Holy Spirit to work in me, as well as through me. Thank you so much for praying for me, my partners here in Lakeland & for the students with whom we work.
Your partner in reaching the nations in our backyard, Anne