An Invitation into Community

“Do not be afraid.”

How many personal fears can you name in 10 seconds?

Maybe: A child’s future? Paying the bills? Being alone? Aging and illness? People on the “other” side of an issue? Gossip? Looking stupid? Being pregnant and unmarried? A family service member dying overseas? Getting laid off? Being in a dead-end job forever?

In “Invitation” by Joyce Hollyday*, the author reminds us that Jesus’ first recorded words after the resurrection are “Do not be afraid.” These same words appear in regard to his birth, his ministry, and his death, besides the Resurrection. And they also appeared as a message from God throughout the Old Testament. It is an age old message, repeating like a heartbeat throughout time as God continues to call us to Himself.

Learning more about Jesus and the power of his Resurrection, the perfect love that is calling to us, helps us to understand what the apostle John later put into words in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”

Those personal fears that seem so near, shrink in importance when we can embrace the truer reality of a loving and living God.

Easter Sunday is here again. The best news the world has ever known is still alive and true today. We welcome you to come to First United Methodist Church to worship and celebrate in community on April 1 at 8:00, 9:30 or 11 a.m. or at Main Street Square at 6 a.m.  If you don’t understand all that is said and happens at worship, it’s okay. We are all growing. First Church is a great place to learn and grow in faith, discovering the perfect love that is greater than all our fears. Please come.

*These thoughts are based on short writings from an assortment of notable authors in “Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter” from Plough Publishing House, copyright 2003.