Have you ever noticed that when the Powerball Lottery grows in size and there is no winner, it seems
that more and more people begin to play the lottery, hoping that they would be fortunate enough to win the big prize. Not being a lottery player, I most often tend to ignore the publicity surrounding the growing potential to “hit it big”. But it does happen on occasion that I will venture into one of the local convenience stores and notice a sign on the window outside that publicizes the size of the next lottery drawing. I will sometimes get caught up in the fervor of the big jackpot and find myself standing behind someone who is buying lottery tickets and picking their numbers very carefully. As I watch that person and wait, I think to myself, “George, why not buy a couple of tickets?” I guess I want to be part of the “fun” of waiting for the numbers to be drawn on a Wednesday or Saturday night, so I waste a couple of dollars, letting the machine choose the numbers for me.
I notice after I buy the lottery tickets that my mind begins to wander about what I would do if I happened to be the lucky winner. No more financial concerns, of course be generous with the church, not have to worry about retirement, be able to travel, work for the sole pleasure of working rather than to make a living – how different life could be if I won the lottery, and how much the same as well. The lottery is always a chance, a bit of luck. Those who win the lottery do indeed experience changes in their lives. But there are only a few lucky winners among the millions who lose. Now fortunately, God does not conduct a lottery with us and, with God, there are not simply a few lucky winners and many losers. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to eternal life assures all of us that, as we accept the power of God at work in our lives and as we believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, we too will share in that eternal victory over death. We too will experience the magnificent gift of love made known to us by our merciful God. Not a select, lucky few, but all of us!
And our lives too are changed. Sure, we go through the same kinds of difficulties and struggles as other people, but one thing cannot be taken away from us – hope. If our hope were limited to this world and to prospering and enjoying the things of this world alone, many would be living in frustration a good deal of the time. For our lives are not easy or simple – we are often having to deal with obstacles and hurdles that bring us distress. Life can be unpleasant. But the power of the resurrection remains a constant source of hope, a hope that overcomes all fear. We are no longer trapped by uncontrollable forces because whatever we face, we do not have to face it alone – God’s presence helps us to find strength and courage. God’s presence also challenges us to live with that hope every day; to share the Good News with joy and enthusiasm. We live differently because God promises to be with us; nothing can separate us from the love of God made known in the sacrifice and the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.
May the Easter hope abide with you each and every day. May the hope of the resurrection be your guide throughout life. May you live, free of fear, to celebrate God’s presence at work in you and among all God’s people. May the words, “Christ is risen, indeed” be on your lips and in your hearts wherever the journey may lead. Pastor George
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
Darla Jean Christopher, Betty Davis, Russwin Francisco, Kenneth Golden, Rev. Dr. Bill Herzog, John Harrison Hoffman, Donald Hubbard, Sr., Kathryn Kepnerm Evelyn Kretz, MacKenzie Kretz, Josh Langley, Derek Lentz, Bob Miller, Joann Motter, Ashlee (Black) Pyne, Laurie Singh, Tom Smith, Peg Taughinbaugh, Mary Timmins, Mckenna Voss, Jean Weiant, Teeyara Jo Weiant and Pete and Joan Wilson
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