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Pastor's Column 4/14/2024

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“He was buried and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, although some have died.”    I Corinthians 15:4-6, NLT


“Generations Present And Following!”


It’s easy to forget about some 32 days after Jesus appeared before His disciples for the second time. Thankfully, it is the Apostle Paul who reminds us of this important oversight. Paul estimates that after the Resurrection of Jesus, the Lord was seen by no fewer than 500 “of His followers.” This group, I believe, included men, women, and children. Yes – children and youth! There is nothing to refute this possibility, but much to substantiate it. Jesus taught that His model of the Kingdom of God – the domain of His presence, was typified in the youngest and most vulnerable persons around Him. Jesus “welcomed” children, held them; blessed them; and insisted that no one cause them harm. This ran counter to the society in which Jesus lived; where children often were the victims of violence perpetrated against them. We may recall that as a young child, Jesus and His parents fled Judea and hid in Egypt for a while, to avoid the wrath of King Herod; who like Pharoah of a different era, had ordered the genocide of young boys. We see early in the Gospel narrative, and perhaps subtly in Paul’s great Corinthian letter, the importance of intergenerational followers in the great plan of God. I can’t help but think that those followers of Christ, whom Paul speaks of as “still alive,” nearly 25 years after the Resurrection were some of the youth, whose lives were transformed because of Christ. Perhaps, the boy with the loaves and fish; the 12-year-old daughter of Jairus, raised from the sleep of death; the widow of Nain’s son, who also was called to life again; and, the young teen, who was freed from the unrelenting forces of epileptic seizures. Could it be that some of the young children who were held and blessed by Jesus; grew older, and were among the other youth who shouted Hosanna, despite being told by some in the crowd to be silent. The great prophet said, “A Child shall lead them.” Amen!

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