Between Here and There -- April 2022

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
– Matthew 28:2

Just the other night I was speaking with a friend about the excitement and energy that has been present throughout the community of Westminster over the past few months. Let’s be honest: while it would be untrue to say that there’s been no energy at all around here, I think that we can all connect to the thought that we seem to be turning an important page in our history. From Wednesday evenings to Sunday mornings and everything in between, there’s a whole new energy buzzing in and around this community.

As my friend and I talked about reconnecting with friends and members, exciting new programs and directions, and new ways of worshiping together, he paused and said, “What do you think changed?”

There is, of course, no shortage of answers to his question: warmer weather, exciting initiatives, program momentum, improving COVID data…on and on we could go. Let’s not, however, overlook the power of the Holy Spirit in our time together. The power that rolled back the stone covering Jesus’ tomb is the same power that we feel when we gather to worship with one another. The energy that breathed fresh life into Jesus’ empty lungs is the same energy that breathes fresh life into this congregation. The Spirit that gave birth to Easter morning is the same Spirit that gives birth to a new page at Westminster. We don’t do this on our own, friends.

Working in vocational or even volunteer ministry comes with the temptation to stand back and look at “success” as the work of your own hands, but that view is inconsistent with what we believe to be true of God and God’s work in the world. Even Jesus himself asked, “Why do you call me good?” (Mark 10:18), knowing full well that it is God who provides both the energy and the power to do the work that we call “successful.” We must never forget to give thanks where thanks are due: the Holy Spirit is present within and among each of us.

I hope that you’ve felt it, too, this energy that seems to be growing here at Westminster. As we walk the final weeks of this Lenten season and approach the empty tomb that once belonged to Jesus, let’s not forget to open our hands and turn our hearts to the power of the Spirit that made it all possible. From the very beginning of what would one day become the Christian church, the Holy Spirit has directed, motivated, and energized those called to the work of Jesus Christ. That’s you, my friend. You are called, and the Spirit lives in you. I hope that you’ll continue to join us as we follow the Spirit onto a new page.

Where might the Holy Spirit be calling you today? Have you felt any change in your energy or in your community? I’d love to hear your story.

Happy Easter, friends!

Ed Sutter