Bishop Rhyne's Easter Message

Christ is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia! God bless you this Easter. I pray that you know God’s presence and the love of Christ that surrounds you. On Easter we celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to save us from sin, death, and the devil so that we might have hope of eternal life with him. Evil and sin did not have the power to hold him down. Jesus Christ rose from the dead, blowing the doors of death apart, and showing us that he is the great Lord who made heaven and earth.

It is this same Jesus who has claimed you in the waters of baptism. The great Savior of the world knows you and would not leave you alone did this because he loves you and chose to save you and I from death. Jesus reminds us in the gospel of John, “You didn’t choose me but I chose you.” (Jn 15:16). Also Jesus reminds us he will never let us go because, “It is the will of the Father that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day,” (Jn 6:39).

I believe that changes everything. We belong to Jesus. He has shown us the days of evil, sin, and destruction are numbered. He is the great Lord of all. Yet, when he comes he sacrifices himself, gives of himself, and pours himself out for the sake of the world. In that he shows us an example of the love that he has for us and for all people.

Jesus calls us to follow. We get to follow the Lord who loves and serves and gives of himself. I believe that means that we don’t have to live our lives just looking out for ‘number one’. By following Jesus, and being led by Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be a blessing to others.

The good news is we don’t do it alone. The risen and living Jesus Christ is with us, “always until the end of the age,” (Mt. 28:20). Jesus is alive and is with you and me now and always. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit which is continually leading, guiding, and shaping us both individually as children of God and corporately as the church and the body of Christ.

Christ is with us. Jesus is inviting us to be a part of sharing his love, grace, and mercy with everyone you meet. I give thanks to God for you and for the ways you are already doing that in our Synod.

Peace be with you, God bless you, and Happy Easter.
+Bishop Michael Rhyne