Bishop Strickland Shares Easter Greetings!

April 02, 2021
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (I Peter 2:9-10).”
 
Recently, I have been involved in a lot of conversations that have centered on, “What does it mean to BE the church?”  “Being” church for me is embodying that active verb in all we do and all we say.  “Being” church for me, offers an opportunity for each of us to remember that we are, as First Peter points out: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of God who called you out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.”
 
Each and every time we gather as God’s people, we get to gather around God’s marvelous gifts of grace.  Those gifts of grace nourish us so that we may point others to the mighty acts of God.  Often in the church, we become bogged down by defining church by our numbers. Numbers of decline in worship attendance, decline in giving, decline in. . .fill in the blank, and we forget to define church as we who have been called to point people to the life-changing, life-giving, and mighty acts of God; inviting others into this mission.
 
As the Use of the Means of Grace points out: “In every celebration of the means of grace, God acts to show forth both the need of the world and the truth of the Gospel.  In every gathering of Christians around the proclaimed Word and the holy sacraments, God acts to empower the Church for mission.  Jesus Christ, who is God’s living bread come down from heaven, has given his flesh to be the life of the world. This very flesh, given for the life of all, is encountered in the Word and sacraments.” (Principle 51)
 
During this Easter season, may we continue to proclaim the resurrection promise for many who only live in a shadow of Good Friday! May we continue to welcome all people to dwell in the joy of the empty tomb and to know God continues to call us out of our own tombs.
 
Thank you for what you do in pointing people towards the mighty acts of God and for accompanying people on the journey in receiving the marvelous gifts of the Means of Grace.
 
Thank you for the many ways you live out your God given identity as God’s own people; proclaiming the mighty acts of God! Continue onward there is still work to be done!
 
 
+Bishop Kevin L. Strickland