The Resurrection and You
On Easter Sunday we sang a hymn written by a Baptist minister named Robert Lowry in 1874. Our Hymnals list it with two different ways in the index, first as “Christ Arose” and again as “Low in the Grave He Lay.” When you read the words, notice how there is a contrast between the impotence of death and suffering in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my
The most dreaded enemy of man, Death, is powerless to over our Lord Jesus Christ. The significance of that is as real today as it was almost two thousand years ago when the disciples found the empty tomb. Lowry continues in his hymn with an exuberant and victorious refrain.
Up from the grave He arose,
We sing that a confidence that only comes from understanding what Jesus’ resurrection means for us. As believers we rejoice and find peace n the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead victoriously, as a savior who lives forever and reigns at the right hand of God. The Resurrection is the reason for our hope and the foundation of all that we believe.
What if there was no resurrection? What if the resurrection of Jesus Christ was simply a well thought out and planned conspiracy, or even worse just a simple myth. If that was reality, if that was true then it would be devastating to Christianity.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 about this very idea.
“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
It is undeniable that if Jesus is still in the grave, if he was not victorious over death, then the situation is hopeless for all believers. While that is not true, I hope you all understand the implications of that belief.
Understand, you would still be living in your sin, under the penalty of death just as all unbelievers. Sin would continue to reign over you. Our own resurrection and the idea of eternal life would be a fantasy never to be realized.
If there is no resurrection, then "those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." That means every Old Testament believer, every New Testament believer, and every other believer in every age also would be in hell. Their faith would have been in vain, their sins would not have been forgiven, and their destiny would be an eternal separation from God.
Without Christ's resurrection, and the salvation and blessings it brings, Christianity would be pointless. Without the resurrection we would have no Savior, no forgiveness, no gospel, no meaningful faith, no life, and we could never have hope for any of those things.
The Christian life would be a tragic and cruel joke. Christians who suffer and even die for the faith would be just as blind and lost as those who follow the newest pop culture star.
But, God did rise from the dead, “He who was delivered up for our transgressions, and was raised four our justification.” (Romans 4:24-25) John wrote that because Christ lives we too shall live. (John 14:19) Paul acknowledged we are not to be pitied in his second letter to Timothy, writing, “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) Paul was talking about have entrusted his life and salvation to Jesus Christ.
The truth that is lost on many today is that those who do not trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, forgiveness, justification and sanctification are the fools who should be pitied. These poor lost souls need to hear from you in this season of life. They need to hear a compassionate and heart felt testimony about the victory of Christ’s resurrection. More importantly they don’t need to hear it in lofty theological, church talk. They need to hear it from your perspective, from your life. Yes, tell them about the resurrection, rejoice in it speak of its glory and wonder. But more importantly, tell them about your resurrection. Tell them about the new life you have found in Jesus Christ. Tell them where He found you, how he healed you, how he made you whole again. The greatest witness they can hear is your testimony of redemption, love and forgiveness.
Gather and Gifted To serve
In January, twelve Friends from Iowa traveled as a work team to Belize City. They spent most of their time on the future apartment of the Director of Belize Friends Ministries and the part of the Center which will be used to house guests. While in Belize, they found that each member of the team had a gift to share. Much of the work done was construction oriented: installing a water heater, taping and repairing drywall, remodeling a bathroom, and so forth. They also found unexpected ministry opportunities, however, such as Deb Moyer spending two mornings helping two of the Friends School’s adult students with their English language skills.
The work team also had the chance to share worship with Friends in Belize twice. At the Friday school chapel service, pastor Oscar Mmbali used YouTube clips both for music and to help give a lesson, and Miss Candi gave the students an opportunity to share in worship by responding to a query. The work team also attended Belize Friends Church on Sunday morning and enjoyed their time of worship and fellowship there.
time on the future apartment of the Director of Belize Friends Ministries and the part of the Center which will be used to house guests. While in Belize, they found that each member of the team had a gift to share. Much of the work done was construction oriented: installing a water heater, taping and repairing drywall, remodeling a bathroom, and so forth. They also found unexpected ministry opportunities, however, such as Deb Moyer spending two mornings helping two of the Friends School’s adult students with their English language skills.
The work team also had the chance to share worship with Friends in Belize twice. At the Friday school chapel service, pastor Oscar Mmbali used YouTube clips both for music and to help give a lesson, and Miss Candi gave the students an opportunity to share in worship by responding to a query. The work team also attended Belize Friends Church on Sunday morning and enjoyed their time of worship and fellowship there. Iowa Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Men gave to the project, enabling the purchase of a refrigerator, bedding for the new beds, and new books for the school library! Please continue to pray for the health and growth of Belize Friends Church and that God will lead and equip the right person to Belize to fill the role of Director of Belize Friends Ministries
HOC Meal Report
On March 29th, we prepared and served a meal to 50 appreciative people at the House of Compassion. They enjoyed the shredded BBQ rib sandwiches, green beans, raw carrots, several salads donated from a funeral, pudding, cookie bars, milk, tea and coffee.
Our great volunteers were: James, Sharon & John G who donated food or funds, Vi, Peggy, Charlene, Ann, Neil, Darla and friend Ted who helped at the House.
Our next meal will be April 26. Please consider joining in the fun of serving together.
Summer Camp at Camp Quaker Heights
Camp dates are as follows:
Little Fry June 8-10
Jr. Hi/High School June 10-15
Elementary June 24-28
We would like to do registration at church one Sunday or Wednesday. That way we can manage scholarships and ensure all campers are covered. If you have questions please contact Jo Macy or Matt.
This is a great time for Reflection on our lives, what Christ means to us and how we can glorify HIM. For Easter we have in our library: Life is to be Celebrated, Rumors of the Resurrection & Suddenly One Morning. We also have some new books – A Miracle a Day is a book of meditations, The Eighth Day of Creation is an anthology of Christian scripture, and Short Stories for Long Rainy Days is a collection of simple tales of life and love.
We have several Easter books in the kid’s section. Check them out.
Iowa Yearly Meeting
The Iowa Yearly Meeting annual Ministry Conference will be here before you know it. Remember the dates, July 25-28, 2018.
Business meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday during the day. Evenings will be reserved from worship and fellowship. Childcare will be provided during the business meetings and nursery will be available for worship. More details will follow
Iowa Friends Response Team
Planned work trip to Houston April 7-16.
Five months after Hurricane Harvey tore through Houston with record rainfall and 130 mph winds, 33,000 Texans are still displaced and living in temporary federal housing. Meanwhile, 80 percent of hurricane victims did not have flood insurance, and for many, help is not coming fast enough. For a visual look at the problem watch the PBS News video below:
The cost of participation is minimal. Most of the cost is in getting to Houston, and the IAYM FRT board has allocated some funds to assist in travel (gas, food, lodging on the road).
For more information please access the IAYM FRT Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsrt/. LIKE this page to receive notice of future postings.
The Deeper With The Spirit Workshop
The next workshop will be April 14, 9:30am-12:30 pm at Trinity Friends, 206 W. Main Street, Richland, Iowa. The topic is Hearing God and it will be led by John Wilbur of Fairfield Friends. It is not too late for new people to join us. For a book email Charlotte Stangeland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· April 28: USFW Spring Fling @ Bangor Liberty
· June 8-10, 2018: Little Fry Camp
· June 10-15, 2018: Middle/High School Camp
· June 17-22, 2018: Kaleo Academy
· June 24-28, 2018: Elementary
· July 13-19, 2018: Youth and Young Adult Board sponsored trip to Chicago
· August 1-3, 2018: Church Multiplication Conference at Barclay College (Haviland, Kansas)
James & Sharon Johnson are celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary on April 12th. The family is requesting a card shower for them. Their address is Box 203, Union, IA 50258 or you may leave card in their communication center box at the church.