The Reverend Alvin Shrum, Pastor

April 2018

Greetings Family and Friends of St. Johannes!

Easter of 2018 is almost upon us. I am already looking forward to declaring: “Christ is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia.” But like all good things, I
have to wait until the first Sunday of April. And additionally, we will receive five new members on Easter which will only add to our resurrection celebration at St. Johannes!

Someone recently asked me if I could prove the resurrection. I responded with, “Prove? Do you think I need to prove it?” I really never get an answer to my question so I assume this person decided to drop the issue.

However, I am aware of some Christians and Pastors who have what seems like an obsession for trying to prove the resurrection and everything else that Jesus ever did or said during his earthly ministry.

So I have decided that I do not have to prove anything to placate anyone’s curiosity. My answer is faith-based.

You see, it is my personal faith that tells me I can and should believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God incarnate. My reading of the New Testament provides me with evidence of the reality of God’s resurrection power through the recorded actions and stories of Christ at work in and for every human being. My baptism supports my understanding of God’s claim of resurrection power along with God’s gift of faith and work of grace that is at work in my life and ministry.

Furthermore, as baptized and confirmed members of Christ’s Holy Church, our faith affirms the historic Apostles‘ Creed that says: we believe in God, creator of heaven and earth; we believe in Jesus Christ and his virgin birth; and we believe in His Holy Spirit who made possible Christ’s resurrection and our resurrection! You see, we believe!So what other evidence do we need? For me, the hymn in our ELW (#796) says it well: “How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in Christ Jesus, the Word! What more can he say than to you he has said who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?”

So let us act and speak in this incarnational faith. Afterall, the Bible does say: “The just shall live by faith.” I furthermore assert that we do not need more evidence of Christ’s resurrection; His tomb is empty and through repentance and by faith we believe He forgives and claims us for eternity.

So if your trust is weak, ask God to energize your faith so you can embrace and claim what Jesus has already said and done, and continues to do in your (our) behalf. Yet, everyone has the right to not believe. But what if you are wrong?

I believe the evidence Christ is looking for is our baptism and faith that demonstrates the power of God through love, words, passion, Christian values and service. This is the proof our resurrected Christ is seeking!

So ask God to recharge your faith with new energy and let your time, talents, resources and Christian service do the walking and talking… and just proclaim: “Christ is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia! Faith is our evidence and victory!

Pastor Alvin Shrum