“He is risen! He is risen, indeed!”

Those words are a familiar Easter greeting heard in churches all over the world on Easter Sunday. Typically the pastor says the first, “He is risen,” and the congregation responds with the latter, “He is risen, indeed!” This Easter declaration is inspired by the words recorded for us in Luke 24:34, which says, “The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon” (ESV). It is not unusual to hear this greeting uttered even in private conversations around Pathway on Easter weekend.  However, the traditional Easter greeting doesn’t stop there. The original custom, which continues in many places, was to follow the verbal greeting with three kisses on alternating cheeks. That’s one part of this particular custom I could do without! However, the fact that our Savior’s risen is worth declaring in our conversations this Easter season and throughout the year.

We’re going to be celebrating Jesus’ resurrection in our Easter services at the Chippewa and Moon Campuses. I am greatly looking forward to this time of exalting Christ for His gracious work on our behalf. We have given the theme of “The Grace that Overcomes” to our Easter worship gatherings. The culmination will be on Easter Saturday and Sunday as we consider what Jesus’ victory means to us as we seek to overcome the circumstances of life that threaten to defeat us.  Please come and bring someone with you who would benefit to hear such a message of hope. The music in all of our venues is also sure to inspire us to rejoice in our risen Lord.

Easter weekend would not be complete for us at Pathway, however, without a service dedicated to reflection on all Jesus endured on the cross. Good Friday is that service. We’ll be thinking about God’s grace, singing songs about all Jesus offered us through the crucifixion and taking communion together, remembering all Jesus suffered on our behalf. 

I also want to take this opportunity to say a word of thanks to our building expansion team. They worked hard to bring us to a point where we could vote as a congregation on the concept of constructing a new children’s wing and remodeling much of our present facility to improve our ability to minister to children, youth and adults.  The congregation voted to proceed with the project on Sunday, March 29. I urge you to be in prayer as we move ahead in the process. The short-term next steps include developing construction documents and preparing to raise funds for the expansion/remodeling. 

I trust you have a blessed Easter! And remember, if anyone greets you with the words, “He is risen,” respond with a rousing, “He is risen indeed!”…but no kisses!