He is risen indeed!

3/29/2022

He is risen indeed!
 
The greatest event in human history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
This event changed everything for all time and for all eternity. It is proof that Jesus Christ is sovereign, and that Jesus Christ accomplished the work of salvation for all. It is proof that Christ’s spiritual transformation affects individuals as well as the whole of society.
 
I stand amazed how Jesus took a rag-tag group of common ordinary men and women, spent time teaching, nurturing, and discipling them while providing them with a life-altering spiritual makeover. The resurrection became for those early disciples and for us the icing on the cake.  The resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit sealed the deal and provided the assurance those previously shy disciples needed to “turn the world upside down.”
 
As we conclude the Lenten Season time of preparation, let us, with a renewed sense of determination, embrace the holy boldness of those early believers. The glowing testimony that they shared was, “we cannot help but testify to what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Their personal experience and their eyewitness accounts provided credibility regarding the resurrection of Jesus. Let us boldly proclaim how the transforming power of the resurrected Christ continues to shape and change each of us into faithful witnesses.
 
The United Methodist Church IS my church!
 
I don’t own it, but the Christ that guides it owns me -- lock stock and barrel.  I joined The United Methodist Church in 1968 as an 11-year-old confirmation kid. I have been a part of the United Methodist family since that time. I will fight to stay United Methodist as long as we maintain biblical integrity, preach salvation to all, lift up Jesus as our standard for personal and ethical holiness, trust in the power and work of the Holy Spirit, insist that God’s grace and forgiveness are available to everyone, and believe and expect that individuals and the world can and will be transformed by and because of Jesus’ resurrection power. There is no need for any congregation to disaffiliate or separate from the United Methodist denomination. I’m all in and I’m staying put!
 
The early witnesses and proclaimers of the resurrection were not perfect. They disagreed, they had church fights and internal squabbles, but they never allowed their personal preferences to stand in the way of accomplishing the church’s mission of proclaiming the power of the resurrection and making disciples.
 
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminded them (and us) that, “love does not demand its own way.” They willingly allowed their personal preferences to take a back seat to the proclamation of the gospel. They endured various personal trials and pitfalls in order that the good news could be preached throughout the world.  They boldly proclaimed the Easter Message knowing that without Christ's resurrection we would have no salvation from sin, and no hope for our own future.
 
Easter Sunday should rekindle or ignite a fire in every believer. There should be no doubt in our belief in the resurrected Christ. He is alive in our lives, our hearts and in his community of believers. His resurrection power leads, guides, and will sustain us in all that is to come. Our message is simple and clear; “Jesus IS alive, and he has risen indeed!”
 
God bless,
Bishop Beard