Hello Church! Easter greetings to you all.
Depending on when you are reading this, Easter may or may not have passed. However, the promise of the resurrection is alive and flowing. This is the promise of new life. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are promised that we, too, will rise again and that death is not be the final chapter.
However, in the resurrection, we are also promised new life now. A life filled with joy, hope, and love. In the resurrection, Christ makes all things new. You. Me. All of Creation! God breathes new life into all things, and sets all things free to thrive, grow, and love.
This time last year, Eileen and I were welcoming new life into this world. On April 21, 2022, four days after Easter, Luca William Ruppel-Doan was born at 6:32 pm. It was a long and strenuous labor. Eileen had been in labor for nearly 30 hours when Luca was born. Overall, there were no serious complications. However, it was certainly a day to remember!
Nothing that anyone can say can prepare you for that moment. People tell you that it will be one of the best moments of your life. However, it is hard to truly understand what they mean until it happens. When the time came, my whole body was overwhelmed with joy. My heart was overflowing with happiness, and my face was covered with tears. My soul was filled with so many emotions that I found it hard to breathe and to stand. I had not even done any hard work, but the nurses insisted that I sit down. In this moment, God physically brought new life into the world. However, God also brought new life to Eileen and me. Although we could not fully appreciate it yet, God had changed our lives.
Luca has been alive for nearly a year now and a lot of things have changed for us. Our lives are completely different. I no longer can recognize or imagine who I used to be. I am a new person.
Church, this is the promise of the resurrection! God brings new life to each of us and in ways we may not fully comprehend in the moment. This new life may not be some miraculous moment. Jesus may not be physically raising us from the dead like Lazarus. However, God gives us new life in our regular everyday lives because God came to the world as Jesus, a regular everyday human. God has given you new life! However, you may not fully recognize this yet.
So, in this Easter season, I challenge you to recognize this new life. I challenge you to walk in the light of Christ that is the light of life. “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1 NRSV)
Alleluia! Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Peace and Blessings, Pastor Ethan Doan