Easter 2019 Part 2

Most of you know we are spending this week in Butler, Illinois with our new granddaughter, son and daughter-in-law. By now, the majority of the congregation knows when we talk about Butler, Illinois, we think of Love Packages, Steve Schmidt, Vern and the many others who participate in this world-reaching ministry in Central Illinois. Obviously, Janet and I are a little bit biased, based on the fact that our oldest son, Aaron, and daughter-in-law, Katie, have been part of Love Packages for over a year now. We are enjoying our four days with Gwenyvere, Katie, Aaron and the rest of the staff at Love Packages. Today is Thursday, we just finished lunch and enjoyed talking about the happenings while I was in India, and Steve shared a number of experiences from when he was previously in India. I had forgotten Steve had been officially “kicked out” of India because of his involvement with ministry in years past. While writing this article, I am thinking about the weather you all were dealing with at the end of this week. Praying and hoping it does not hamper our gigantic Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. I’m looking forward to the pictures and stories of the children who participated. I’m very thankful for Pastor Dave Caya, Shelley and those who helped with this very important outreach during the Easter season. As Janet and I enjoy this brief vacation, I’ve had opportunity to reminisce about past Easter outreaches during our 30 years of ministry, and hopeful for whatever time Jesus gives us to touch our world. Together, let’s take advantage of every open door to share the love of Jesus with our harvest field.

There is nothing sacred about Easter Egg Hunts, Easter lilies, Easter outfits, Easter breakfast, or any other man-made activity marking the death, burial and glorious resurrection of our Savior. Throughout the Scriptures I find no clear indication of taking time to celebrate Easter, and/or for that matter Christmas, but I also see no clear indication not to be festive if it lifts up and honors the name of the Lord Jesus. We should have nothing to do with anything ungodly. Here is my opinion about celebrations; the Lord is the maker of heaven and earth, meaning anything on this earth He created, if we choose to use it to honor and recognize him symbolically (without it becoming a deity), I see no problem. When we start making “baby Jesus” or “the old rugged cross” the actual things we worship, then we need to reevaluate our focus. When Pastor Dave shares the gospel message and he uses Easter eggs to symbolize what Christ did for us, it becomes a great learning tool for young people to know the true message of the season. Most Easter Egg Hunts offered are sponsored by secular organizations and do not share the message of the gospel. Praise God, Hawthorne Assembly is going to share the true meaning on Saturday! If you ever feel compelled to not participate in Easter, Christmas, or any other kind of celebration because it does not bear witness in your heart, then please follow your conscience and the leading of what God is telling you to do. I’ve purposely added this statement because there are a number of people who read these articles online, so I’m trying to reach a broader audience than just the 100 or so people who call Hawthorne Assembly their church home. I know it’s just the beginning of spring, and I’m excited about “all” the snow being gone even though you were bombarded by white fluffy stuff last week. Yet fast forward to when Janet and I will be able to invite many of you over to our new home, and you can celebrate Christmas 2019 with us and enjoy our 15 to 20 foot Christmas tree! Anyone who comes to our home will clearly recognize the priority of Christmas for us is the Lord Jesus, and nothing else, and we believe the same for Easter! We are here to lift up our Savior, and though the method may vary, the message is always sacred. Happy Easter!

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