Pastor Alex Christian Miami Lakes United Methodist Church
On Easter the tomb Jesus was buried in was empty and Jesus was not there.
Jesus appeared to people who were grieving, afraid and hurting. Jesus came to people like us living in a disheartening world who needed a message of hope.
Jesus was showing them and us Jesus is alive and there was nothing that can keep us from God and God’s love in this world.
Jesus gave his life so we can all find the love, grace, acceptance and forgiveness we need for ourselves and each other.
When things seem impossible, God makes new possibilities. Jesus gives us a new beginning wherever we are.
When we look and turn, we can find Jesus. We can see a world where there is still hope and possibilities because Jesus is alive and with us.
Jesus is removing the barriers in our lives and world so we can all be Easter people every day.
We invite you to join us this Easter at Miami Lakes United Methodist Church at 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. for a message of hope wherever you are, knowing you can find a place here with people like you.
Pastor Al Pino Palm Vista Community Church
Many of us have experienced the sting of death. For some it was the death of a loved one and for others the death of a dream or desire.
If you are reading these words with sorrow in your heart or even tears in your eyes over that death, I want to say how sorry I am. I grieve with you.
And in our grieving, I’d like to offer you the hope of life. It’s the hope of a particular kind of life, i.e., Resurrection life.
Easter is about life from the dead.
Easter is about the historical fact that Jesus Christ of
Nazareth was Crucified and died on a cross outside of Jerusalem in the early first century and was raised from the dead three days later.
Here is what Easter tells us about death: It was introduced into the world because of the “first” Adam’s disobedience to God’s command in the Garden of Eden.
This disobedience is what the Bible calls sin. It is both physical and spiritual, affecting every human being in the past, present and future.
And here is what Easter tells us about life: It was introduced into the world because of the “second” Adam, Jesus Christ, who obeyed God’s plan for him to die on the cross for our sins.
Because of Jesus, there is physical and spiritual blessings (life!) for every human being who repents of his or her sin against God and believes in Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 captures this truth so well:
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus defeated the power of sin and death through his death and Resurrection so that we might experience LIFE by repenting and placing our faith in him alone!
Pastor Silas Soares New Dawn Church
Easter Celebration means the Celebration of Life.
Life is this: What we have right now. However, for us to have life, Jesus had to give his life.
Nobody likes to imagine how bad Jesus suffered on that Easter weekend so we could have this beautiful life we have right now.
You might say you don’t have an easy life and I believe you. You might have a hard life. Someone in the family with a terminal disease, the loss of a child, depression, or even worse.
I’m not here to question that. My goal is to show how hard Jesus suffered so that we could have life.
If you have a tough life, I want you to know that
Jesus knows what you’re going through.
His word says in John 16.33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And more, he gives his believers the promise of an everlasting life.
“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10.10
You can have this beautiful life if you give your life to Jesus, the one that gave his life for you.
Your suffering might not pass, but Jesus and his word will show you how to overcome it.
Declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved.
Would you like to have a new, good, beautiful and eternal life this Easter?
Father Flavio Montes Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church
Christ is risen! Is risen indeed!
This is the great news that the Easter season reminds us about. How much in need we are of being confronted again and again with this great news when we still face - in many parts of the world - much suffering and pain, violence and war.
Easter teaches us that with God, pain and suffering are temporary, but the promised glory is eternal.
Let us listen well to the voice of the risen Lord whose first words to the disciples who were full of anguish, fear, discouragement and disappointment were: “Peace be with you!”
Let us pray for world peace.
Let us ask that the true peace that God offers us comes to us and that we become messengers of this peace.
The church brings us the opportunity for 50 days to rejoice in this message of hope, to acknowledge Christ’s presence in our midst, to proclaim this great news of salvation, to learn once more what is to be a disciple of the Risen Lord.
We will still have to face battles, but we can do it with Christ leading us all the way. He is our true joy!
For now, as we welcome you to celebrate with us in the beautiful community of faith of Our Lady of the Lakes, I leave you with God’s blessings.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord makes his face shine on you and have mercy on you. May the Lord return his face to you and grant you peace. Amen.
Have a blessed Easter season!
Father Joseph Lucas Christ the Saviour Cathedral
It could be said that we live in troubled times.
But in fact, most of the ages of the world have been troublesome.
This is because human beings are constantly lured by the desire for power and the urge to control others (even if we can’t control ourselves).
For some, might makes right.
Others rely on cunning, deception and manipulation to rise to power.
And yet others exert control by asserting that they are victims.
In each instance our ego and brokenness prevail.
But this is not the way in the kingdom of God.
“‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8.
The omnipotent God who created heaven and earth does not reign with an iron fist; nor does he deceive or manipulate us.
In fact, he is careful not to do so. He remains hidden
from us precisely so that our freedom not be curtailed. He does not force us to respond to him, but gently calls to us in the depths of our hearts.
We see this truth most clearly in the coming of Jesus Christ.
St. Paul writes that, although the Son of God
was always equal to the Father, he took on the likeness of a human being and “humbled himself and
became obedient to
the point of death, even the death of the cross,”
He did not come to earth with the might of an army,
but was born into poverty, lived simply and suffered
an ignominious death like
At his Crucifixion, the earthly and demonic powers gathered together to defeat him, and he allowed them to.
Or so they thought.
This was not the end of the story. St. Paul continues: “Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” Philippians 2:9-11.
By his Resurrection from the dead, the Son of God has defeated death, sin, and the devil.
On Easter, then, we celebrate the defeat of all false power and those who would wield it.
Now we are invited to live a better way: To humble ourselves as little children (Matthew 18:4), to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39), and to die to ourselves (Galatians 2:20).
God has revealed his might through love and humility. As we rejoice in the risen Lord, may we likewise forsake the power of this world for that of the age to come.
The Easter (Pascha) Vigil for Orthodox Christians takes place at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Miami Lakes on Sat., April 23 at 11 p.m. Go to www.OrthodoxMiami.org for more info.
The Rev. Ann Reeder Goraczko The Church of the Epiphany Episcopal
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and she told them that he had said these things to her.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear ... Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’
It is noteworthy that Jesus chose to appear first to a woman, his devoted disciple Mary Magdalene, who, along with his mother, had remained at the cross with him.
May the Peace of the Lord be with you, now and always.
God in Christ is with us today, tomorrow and forever.
If you don’t feel as close to God as you used to, who moved?
Please join us for services on Maundy Thursday at 7 p.m., Good Friday at noon, and Easter Sunday at 11 a.m.