A Message from Pastor Kji

April 13th,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Sunday Preview for April 16

Watch Pastor Kaji’s Easter sermon here

Dear Church,

I have to admit: I’m still riding high after an incredible Resurrection Sunday! Our team did a phenomenal job putting together such a meaningful, impactful worship experience. If you can, please take the time to reach out to say thank you to:Charles Anthony Bryant, music
Stephanie Wilson, Stephen Sekyiamah, David Sookai, Kevin Childress, production
Richard Sturm on behalf of the Elders.

I know it would mean a lot to them to hear from you.

Looking ahead, we have another exciting Sunday coming. Reading our text from Acts, I see Jesus making an invitation. The disciples aren’t just to ride high after the resurrection, he invites them into another period, a time of prayer and perseverance before the Pentecost. What would it look like for us to build in that spiritual discipline in this season after Resurrection Sunday, too?

To help this, my writing group created a devotional guide specifically designed for this waiting period, called Hallelujah Is Forever. I invite you to please sign up to receive the daily word we’ve written by following this link. The brilliant Rev. Vince Amlin wrote a gorgeous introduction for these daily devotionals, which you can read here in its fullness. Here’s an excerpt:

“Baking is a delicate balance. So is faith.
Easter, like Lent, is supposed to be a season: 50 days stretching to Pentecost; 7 weeks of celebration, resurrection, and joy. It’s called Eastertide. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know. No one does.

Many of us observe 40 days of solemn introspection at Lent. We give things up. We take things on. We remember we are dust. We bury our hallelujahs.

Then, for one glorious morning, it’s lilies, and trumpets, and candy-filled plastic eggs: 40 parts Lent to 1 part Easter. That’s the wrong recipe.

The original calls for 50x as much! 50x as many rolled away stones! 50x as many empty tombs! 50x as much death-defeating love!

Imagine the difference. In your life. In your church. In our world.

The balance is off. It’s time to switch recipes. Welcome to Eastertide. God’s anger is for a moment. God’s favor for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Welcome to Eastertide, church! I can’t wait to dig in, together.

Pastor Kaji

Scripture: Acts 1:3-5, 12-14 (Year A, p. 298):

3 Jesus presented himself to them, living, after his suffering through many convincing proofs, by appearing to them forty days and speaking about the reign of God. 4 And staying with them, Jesus commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, rather to wait there for the promise of the Faithful One, “what you heard from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from this one.”

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they entered the city, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were persevering in prayer together with women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his [sisters and] brothers.