From the Pastor

The Resurrection of Jesus gives us the Bible and hope.

If not for the Resurrection of Jesus there would have been no reason for the New Testament to be written or for Christians to adopt the Old Testament as the background and promise fulfilled in Jesus. The Bible is your direct line to the evidence and power of the Risen Lord Jesus.

In the middle of a global pandemic, a contentious election, and social unrest, Americans turned to the Bible for hope.  A recent article by Christianity Today reports on a study of Bible reading during the pandemic.  The American Bible Society, with assistance from Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program, found a strong correlation between Scripture reading and hope.  

Frequent Bible readers rated themselves 33 points more hopeful than irregular Scripture readers did in two surveys of more than 1,000 people done six months apart. The study also found that people are more hopeful when they read Scripture more frequently.  On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most hopeful, Americans who report reading the Bible three or four times per year scored 42; people who read monthly scored 59; weekly, 66; and multiple times per week, 75.  

The hope and resilience of Jesus found in the Bible is illustrated by the testimony of Rick Warren.  The pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of The Purpose Driven Life, together with his wife, Kay, went through a devastating loss when their twenty-seven-year-old son Matthew took his own life after battling depression and mental illness for years.

About a year after this tragedy, Rick said, “I’ve often been asked, ‘How have you made it?  How have you kept going in your pain?’ And I’ve often replied, ‘The answer is Easter.’

“You see, the death and the burial and the resurrection of Jesus happened over three days.  Friday was the day of suffering and pain and agony.  Saturday was the day of doubt and confusion and misery.  But Easter—that Sunday—was the day of hope and joy and victory.

“And here’s the fact of life: you will face these three days over and over and over in your lifetime.  And when you do, you’ll find yourself asking—as I did—three fundamental questions.  Number one, ‘What do I do in my days of pain?’  Two, ‘How do I get through my days of doubt and confusion?’  Three, ‘How do I get to the days of joy and victory?’

“The answer is Easter. The answer … is Easter.

Make companionship with the Bible and with other followers of Jesus a regular part of your life, and you will know the hope that sees millions through the days of pain, doubt, and confusion.

Let’s be a church where the Bible and the hope of Jesus speak, spark, and spread.

He is risen indeed,
Bro. Rick