From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Members and Friends of Evangelical UCC, 

Our Easter celebration continues! Even if the Easter candy is gone, we are still celebrating as we come to terms that death does not have the last word. Easter life is a year-round reality for Christians. 

Acts 5 tells us about the preaching of the apostles, and the challenges they faced as a result. According to the text, they were met with wild success, as more and more people listened, believed, and experienced healing. But the religious leaders in Jerusalem were not happy, to say the least, and arrested them and threw them into the city jail. 

That night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and led the apostles out. The angel told the apos-tles to go to the temple and preach. At daybreak the apostles entered the temple and started to preach – just like they were doing when they were arrested. 

Meanwhile, the high priest sent police to the jail to retrieve the apostles. The temple police came back to the council and reported they were not there, even though the jail doors remained locked, and guards were sta-tioned at the door. At that confusing moment someone else arrived and reported that the apostles were once again teaching in the temple. 

Once again, the apostles ended up in front of the council. Peter defended their actions by saying, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” He summed up the message the apostles had been preaching: God raised Jesus and exalted him so that the people could turn back to him and be forgiven. 

The story of Acts is clear. The disciples, who were cowering before Easter, were different after. The gospel of Luke vividly portrays Peter’s denial of Jesus. But once Peter and the others knew the reality of the resurrec-tion and received the Holy Spirit, they were emboldened. Their experience of God’s power gave them a new clarity and ability to take a stand for what they believed. 

Sometimes people talk about “seeing red” in a moment of anger. Perhaps we are called to “see gold” – to have moments of blinding clarity of what God wants us to do. As the passage in Acts describes, Peter didn’t have to agonize over whether to preach the gospel even when it had been forbidden. Peter knew what his calling was, and he stepped forward to do it. 

What about us? In what ways do we claim Easter power for ourselves? We can be faced with many challeng-es in life. The better grounded we are in our faith and in the life of EvUCC, the more prepared we will be to face our challenges boldly. Easter power is for all Christians who want to make a difference for the sake of our risen Lord. 


Pastor Bill