Posts tagged Easter
Easter Matters On Monday Too!

Easter was a happy day. The kids ran around as usual, but the little girls’ Easter dresses added some welcome color to the room. And there was that one little boy with the bow tie that could’ve made Darth Vader smile.

The worship team was on point. And the song list! You’re still humming the lyrics to the first one. The sermon was exactly what you needed to hear—the resurrection of Jesus helps us be “unstuck” in our lives. You felt inspired.

You went home and ate a delicious meal with the people you love. The new recipe you tried was a hit. The extra helping of pie for dessert was definitely worth it and the leftover chocolate eggs sitting on the counter were not unwelcome.

But now it’s Monday. The alarm clock this morning was about as welcome as a wet dog in your bed. In fact, you might have preferred the dog. The sky’s dark like the coffee brewing in the kitchen. If the weatherman is right, it’ll rain today. Again. The Easter ham is all cut up in the fridge. It’ll be your lunch for the next week. There’s a few extra dishes in the sink you’re trying to ignore.

The coffee is starting to wake you up, but it’s not changing your apathetic mood. It’s not that you hate the world. It’s just the start of another Monday. Another week at work with meetings and reports to write, another week of physical therapy appointments and soccer games, another week of trips to the grocery store because you ran out of toilet paper again, another week of freezer meals and spaghetti, another week of trying to get to your Gospel Community on time, another week of church to remind you there’s something more before returning to the craziness once again. It’s not bad. It’s just normal.

Easter is about new birth, new beginnings.


But here you are, just remembering your dentist appointment is on Wednesday at 2 pm. You’re not complaining, but it’s a bit anti-climactic after Easter Sunday’s spiritual high.

If you’re like me, you’re stretched thin in your own little world. We know there’s more to life than paying the bills and making good use of our Netflix subscriptions. We honestly desire to serve God and find some time in our unforgiving schedules to squeeze in a shift in Redeemer Kids. We might even say yes when a friend asks us to help them deliver a meal to someone in need. But if we’re honest, in the end it doesn’t feel like the fulfillment of Christ’s call to make disciples of all nations. There’s so much more to do for Christ, but we’re struggling just to read a Psalm in the morning let alone remember it by the end of the day.

If I’m honest, I didn’t heed the encouragement to invite people to Easter Sunday. It’s not that I didn’t want to. I just forgot. I’m a senior at WWU. I balance full-time school with work, a family, a boyfriend, and few close friends. I function in a just-do-what-absolutely-needs-to-get-done-by-tomorrow-mode and still feel like I’m barely holding it together. I hear someday it’ll be worse when I have kids. At this point, I’m hoping I’ll have time to really serve God when I’m 65. That is, if my 401(k) is sufficient for retirement. There are certainly days I think I need to quit my job and become a missionary or church planter if I’m truly to live out Christ’s call to make disciples. I just don’t see how I can manage one more “job.”

Based on my conversations with others, I’m not alone. Have you noticed the most common descriptor people use to describe their life seems to be “busy”?

It’s easier to be inspired by Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, but it’s a different story to be motivated by it on Monday.


But don’t forget, our Sunday was actually Monday for the Jews. If he rose from the dead on a Monday, I think it’s safe to assume Christ cares about Mondays too. So why does Easter matter on Monday?

Mondays were God’s idea. After all, he created them (Genesis 1:3-5).

God also created Mondays for work. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” In fact, it was the beginning of a series of days intended to work. Genesis 2:2 says God worked six full days before he rested on the seventh day.

The people we spend our Mondays with and the ones we work to provide for are God’s idea too. In Genesis 2:18, God says it’s not right for man to be alone, so he provides for him a spouse. To them God says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).

So where does Easter apply? Before sin, the fruits of our labors were guaranteed. The ground would yield its produce, our bodies would remain perfectly healthy, our marriages would be conflict-free, our children would grow up to love and respect their families, and we would live for eternity to enjoy the riches of our labors. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, God said

“cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3: 17-19).

So, while God still promised work, the fruits of our labor were no longer guaranteed. Instead, we are promised pain in childbearing, conflict with authority, death and illness. This makes sense because “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). It is God who provides the fruit of our labor. If we’ve rejected him, we’ve rejected his blessing too. Those of us who’ve experienced the loss of something or someone despite our efforts know the pain that comes from this state of helplessness.

But then Easter. In the Garden of Eden, God promised a Savior who would make right their wrong. Then Christ showed up. He lived a sinless life before presenting himself to God as the perfect sacrifice needed to wipe away our guilt. Access to God was granted as the veil of the temple was torn in two. Three days later, on a “Monday”, Christ rose from the dead to prove that in him even death couldn’t separate from God.


So how does this apply to Monday? Well in Christ, all the promises of God are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:10). This means “the earth has yielded its increase; God our god, shall bless us” (Psalm 67:6). In Christ, the fruits of our labor are guaranteed. Paul says, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15: 57-58). This applies to every labor that God has provided for us, even those Excel reports:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24).

This doesn’t mean that every effort will receive its reward in this lifetime. But it does mean that when Christ returns all will be made right and we will receive the inheritance he has promised for his children. This is the hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). This hope in Christ is also the “evidence of things unseen” to a world that only sees today (Hebrews 11:1).

But how does this fulfill Christ’s call to make disciples of all nations? Well, where do we find people who don’t yet know Jesus? You find them In the office, the grocery store, the gym, even the DOL. But we’re busy, just trying to get through the day. So are they. The craziness of life is not restricted to Christians. They likely won’t have time for a lengthy conversation. But they’ll probably have time to notice the sincere effort you put into the work you do, the joy you possess even when it rains, and the faith you have that God will always provide the reward for your labors. That’s something they don’t have. For them, work is what you do until you make enough money to be at leisure. Because “if there is no resurrection from the dead, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Corinthians 15:32). But for you, your work is the daily proof that God is good.

If you truly believe this, it will change a Monday into a statement of faith. Something this counter-cultural won’t go unnoticed. Lord-willing, someone might ask you for the evidence of the hope you possess, and you might find it worth the time to squeeze in a drink at happy hour tonight or a shared freezer meal on Wednesday.

That’s why Easter matters on Monday too.

“Come, see”

“Come, see”

Who would have thought a simple invitation would shake up a city?

Take a moment to reflect on some of your conversations from last week. How many simple invitations were presented to you? From coffee invitations to introducing new people, invitations are extended for a myriad of reasons from delight in spending time with others to building new relationships.


Easter Sunday is rapidly approaching in the next couple days. As Easter is just around the corner, consider the impact a personal invitation could have.

"... So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman from Samaria came to draw water ..."- John 4:1-42

The woman at the well is a personal dialogue between a Samaritan woman and Jesus, in which Jesus invites the woman to find her hope in Him. We can be greatly encouraged by this passage for many reasons, but for now let’s focus on three.

1. Plan: Jesus set a day and time to travel to the city of Sychar to meet her.

2. Personal Invite: Through a dialogue with Jesus the Samaritan woman began to develop a relationship with Him. He met her right where she was both spiritually and physically.  “Give me a drink”, He said. Their conversation unfolded just like our own personal conversations with others: asking questions, giving answers, listening and processing.

3. Point to Jesus: Jesus had plans to provide her with living water. He brought her face to face with truth, shining light on areas of her life that she hid in the dark. She came to the well with an empty heart looking to fill a bucket with liquid water, but left the well with a full heart overflowing with living water. As she ran back to her village she invited others to come meet Jesus: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”


Here are a few practical ways we can prepare to invite others to Easter at Redeemer, in hopes they would find their hope in Jesus:

  1. Ask God who He might have you invite to Easter.

  2. Personally invite them to Easter.

  3. Pray that we as a church would be warm and welcoming.

  4. Pray that God would save people.

As ambassadors of Christ, let us be encouraged to personally invite people to Easter at Redeemer this Sunday! 

Redeemer Easter Service(s) Details

The Significance Of The Resurrection

The Following Blog Post is written by Brandon Adent:

Popular references to Easter abound these days. Bunny-shaped chocolate is on sale at the grocery store, alongside the plastic ribbon grass that seems to cling to every crevice in the house. 

Most people don’t know where the bunny came from. Or why we color eggs, hide then, and hunt for them. Springy colors make sense to us… it’s the time of year where the dark of winter surrenders to the light of the spring.

We love spring. Especially in Bellingham. The return of the longer days and warmth of the sun give us a lot of joy.

And yet, there is a greater source of joy. The book of John talks about Jesus as the Light of the World, which shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.

And on the day that Christ bodily rose from the grave, the Light stomped the head of the Darkness into the ground.


To put the events of Good Friday (the day Jesus, the Christ, was crucified) and Easter Sunday into modern terms, let’s frame the discussion in terms familiar to many of us.

 Say you’re a college student without money for anything but Ramen noodles (10 for a dollar, in case anyone is curious), and a friend and family member offers to take you to Costco to get anything you want. You go to the store on your shopping spree, and your friend or family member pays the bill.

In order to exit the store, you must stand in line ready to show your receipt to an employee as proof that you’ve paid for everything in your cart. Once the employee marks your receipt as valid and complete, you are free to go about the rest of your business.

Similarly, paying the bill is a bit like Good Friday. With His blood, Christ paid for the wrongdoings and offenses of all who would trust in Him, and gives them His perfect standing in exchange.

Christ’s resurrection is like the receipt. By His resurrection, we know that our sin has actually been dealt with, for death cannot hold the sinless.

Moreover, the use of the receipt goes beyond departure of the store. Say your friend bought you a flat-screen TV, and when you plugged it in at your apartment or house, it didn’t work. The receipt gives you the assurance that you will be adequately cared for until you are satisfied with your purchase.

If you are in Christ, He has paid for your soul with His blood. And His resurrection is the proof-of-purchase. You have been adopted into His family (Gal 3, Rom 7), and there is nothing that can separate you from His love (Rom 8).

Because of this assurance, you can live courageously in the new life that you have in the knowledge that His grace is sufficient for you.


Because of the assurance that your sentence has been paid in full, you have a guarantee of new life in Christ.

You are a new creation; the old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor. 5.17). You have been raised from death by the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph 5.4-6).

This means you actually can live differently! God has changed you from the core of your being, and is slowly molding you into Christ-likeness. Sure, we’ll struggle with sin, fear, guilt, and shame. But He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1.6)


Your newness isn’t just relegated to your soul. Because of the resurrection, you have assurance of bodily resurrection, just as Christ was raised.

Paul addresses this very topic in 1 Corinthians 15. Amid disputes of whether the dead will rise again, Paul repeatedly and emphatically states that if Christ Himself was not raised from the dead, that we have no hope either in this life or the next.

Thankfully, Christ has been raised from death, showing that He indeed possesses power over it. As death could not hold Him, neither will it hold you.

This means that you don’t need to fear death. Certainly, the prospect is unnerving. But if we know that we are Christ’s in both life and death, and that He is sovereign over both, we don’t need to live in fear or anxiety over what happen today or tomorrow.


This next section may seem a bit odd: I’m going to quote a Christmas song.

Without Easter, there is no Christmas. If Christ had not come to live perfectly, die sacrificially, and rise triumphantly, He would not have come. Charles Wesley knew this when he penned the great hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!”

Hail the Heav’n born Prince of Peace

Hail the Son of Righteousness

Light and life to all He brings

Risen with healing in His wings

Mild He lays His glory by

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of Earth

Born to give them second birth

The appropriate response to the risen King is worship. We bow our lives to Him, confessing our need and despising our old ways in the light of His grace.

This response should resound in every area of our lives. One ways we respond is by gathering corporately to hear what He has done and respond in gratitude in prayer and song. This is a weekly celebration, not a one time event, to serve as a frequent and tangible reminder one what He has done for every people of every tribe, tongue, and nation. But Easter provides us a particularly special occasion to gather and remember what God has done in us and what He means to do through us.

If you would, join us as we gather this Easter Sunday in the name of the resurrected Jesus.


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Weekly Once-Over (4.3.2014)

Why We Obey: When I was a new Christian, I learned that I owed the Lord obedience in every sphere of life. Yet I was a bit muddled as to why I obeyed. If asked to explain, I answered three ways, which we can call the way of wisdom, the way of trust, and the way of gratitude.

The Atonement In The Passover: Over the course of the next couple of months, we're running a series of blog posts on the atonement. A number of thought-leaders on the subject will share a bit from their studies on the scarlet thread that runs through the entirety of the Scriptures...

Four Things To Teach Your Children This Easter: Will you join me in trying to turn the blooming opportunities of this season into a way to teach our children more about Jesus? Let’s think toward making the most of this spring to show our kids all that they have because of Christ. Here are four key things to teach our children this Easter.

Dear Son: Your Dad Is Messed Up: Read this father's letter he wrote to his unborn son explaining the reality of his forever changing heart.

My Shelves Are Full Of Mentors: We live in a day where there is greater access to Christian resources than ever before. Long gone are the days where monks would hand copy a single book that was reserved for the wealthiest landowner in the county. Websites will deliver books at low cost right to your door. You can immediately download sermons from preachers across the globe, and seminaries have made excellent content freely available online. If you have been struggling with finding a mentor, let me give you three suggestions

7 Biblical Tests For Christians And Music: While it may be difficult, I do believe it's possible to evaluate musical preferences using God's word. The following seven tests each relate to biblical principles that we can apply to our music to determine its suitability.

What About Life Insurance?: In short, we do have insurance—more than some, less than others. We want to be responsible, yet leave plenty of room for God. We also want to be able to use the money for God’s kingdom that would otherwise go to pay additional premiums. I’m not trying to set a standard for others to follow. Everyone must measure his or her own situation and convictions, following Christ’s lead as best they can discern it.

Is Church Membership Really Required?: Leaving the church is not simply leaving a club. When you walk away, you dismember yourself from the body. Jesus and the rest of the body sorely miss you, and bleed after your departure. You cut yourself off from your only source of life and nourishment. Like an amputated hand, you will slowly bleed out, wither, and die.

I Wore White: My white dress did not represent a life of purity. But I wore white on my wedding day and I’d wear it again. I am a new creation.


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To Lent Or Not To Lent


Yes, our church family celebrated Lent this last Wednesday. For some people the term Lent leaves a sour taste in people's mouths, and if you are one of those people please read this blog post done by Ariel Bovat on her reflections and experiences at the Lent Service. If you don't know what Lent is, its ok just keep reading. This blog done by Ariel will encourage and challenge anyone. Enjoy! 

If you like what you read you can find Ariel's Blog Here


To Lent Or Not To Lent

I was baptized as a baby in a Catholic church. The end.

That was the only point of reference I had for any of the traditions of the Catholic religion, which included Lent.  

My mother eventually converted to the Jehovah's Witness religion and my very Hispanic Catholic baby baptism became of no consequence. 

I eventually became exposed to a distanced, albeit foreign, concept of Lent through the kids in my junior high who were Catholic. They would leave school for a few hours on Ash Wednesday only to come back to school with ash crosses on their foreheads. It was foreign to me. It was something that other people did. It meant nothing personally to me.  

For me, Lent became associated with Catholicism and unfortunately hypocrisy as well. 

I attributed all religious church traditions with hypocrisy because the first exposure I had with religious church traditions came primarily from the junior high and high school kids in the small New Mexico town that I lived in. For the most part, if someone was Mexican, they were Catholic. If someone was not Mexican, they were not Catholic. This experience/exposure did not leave me to conclude anything different. 

These Catholic junior and high school kids would be cussing up a storm, bullying kids on the school bus, yelling at the bus driver, bragging about their sexual exploits, etc....yet.....when the bus drove by the Catholic church, all these kids would stop what they were doing, make the sign of the cross on their bodies and then proceed with their "bad" behavior. 

I was perplexed.  I knew something was amiss. 

However limited my exposure was, that was my first experience with ritualism. Traditionalism. Empty church symbolism. 

I knew I wanted nothing to do with it.  

Lent....or the activity of Lent never crossed my mind again. 

Up until now. 
Six churches and 30 years later, 11 of those years as a Christ follower.  

Our new church offered an Ash Wednesday service. As foreign as it was to me, I was intrigued.

What could this non Mexican, non Catholic context service look like? I had no preconceived ideas of what it ought to look like. My husband, on the other hand, grew up Catholic, so he did have to wrestle with his personal past experiences on what it used to look like as a former alter boy but he was pretty stoked about it too. My kids were clueless. 

I feel that God was preparing my heart for the idea of participating in a Lent service last year when my family lived isolated lives void of any church fellowship. Your can read about that here. 

So, our very first Ash Wednesday service was pretty gosh darn amazing. The service was not liturgical, dry or passive. 

Instead, it was Spirit filled, worshipful, and very much active. 

The service was centered around the Holiness of God, our desperate need for a Savior, and an encouraging renewed reminder of a Holy and Loving God giving us Jesus to reconcile us to the Father. There was lots of singing (which I love), lots of reading of the Bible (which I love), and lots of prayer and reflection (which I need). 

There was the application of the ash crosses on our foreheads, which the kids thought was pretty cool. There was the participation of the Lord's supper. Then there was the anointing of oil at the very end to send us on our way. 

I don't know what I loved more- the actual service and it's complete passion for God or the fact that we finally had a church to celebrate Jesus with. I might venture to say that it's both. 

As a matter of fact, I wish Ash Wednesday was every Wednesday. But I guess that would defeat the reverence of the occasion. 

Along with the actual service, our church is doing a collective fasting and using a devotional titled Journey to the Cross to help foster a reflective and repentant heart as we usher in the solemn death of Christ and glorious resurrection of our Savior and King. 

It is interesting to see the many different view points concerning non-Catholic denominations wrestling with whether we should or should not participate in Lent. 

I've read several blogs on different view points concerning the participation of Lent as a non Catholic. 
Luma Simms, one of my favorite Christ centered woman writers addresses her perspective HERE after she readanother blog that questions the sincerity of heart of Lenten participants. You can read that blog HERE

To Lent or not to Lent...I guess that is the million dollar question of the day for evangelical Christ followers. 

Here is my humble yet limited answer. 

  1. If you go to a gospel centered, Bible believing/Jesus preaching church and your church does not do Lent....then no worries. Don't do it. Or, if you feel strongly about doing it, then do it privately with your family. 
  2. If you go to a gospel centered, Bible believing/ Jesus preaching church that does do Lent....then do it with your church family. are my caveats on it. 

  1. Lent doesn't make us holy. Only Jesus makes us holy. 
  2. Giving up something for 40 days doesn't make us more holy. Only Jesus, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit makes us more holy. 
  3. Focusing on what we have to give up does not make us more holy. Replacing God's word with whatever we give up reorients us to God. It assists us to recognize the magnificent finished work of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This helps in sanctifying us, aka....making us more holy.  
  4. Going through the motions of a religious tradition will do nothing for our sanctification if we do not commit to reading scripture, meditating on scripture as it pertains to Christ's work on the cross, reflecting about our outward AND inward sin and recognizing the depravity of our condition, repenting daily, and most of all praying continually. Christ following people, we should be doing this already.

My personal favorite day of the year is Resurrection Sunday. Ash Wednesday and this Lenten season is now just an extension of Resurrection Sunday as we allow ourselves to start preparing our hearts in deep, humble, yet glorious gratitude that God loved us enough to have a plan to bring His sheep to Himself. He did this by giving something up.

The Father gave up His Son for approximately 33 earthly years for something the Father thought was worth it. That something is US. 

The Son came eventually die a painful excruciating sacrificial death....for something He thought was worth it. That something is US. 


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