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April Newsletter

The Difference Jesus Makes

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:7


As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, I am drawn to consider afresh the impact His life, death and resurrection had – and continues to have – on people of all types, then and even today. Jesus’ holy life, His powerful, authoritative teaching, as well as His miraculous signs drew huge crowds. While hailed as the “Son of David” by the masses on Palm Sunday, besides Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, none of the religious leaders dared to seriously consider Him as God's promised Messiah.


What I find interesting is just a few months after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, a large number of Jewish priests started following the way of Jesus. We read in Acts 6:7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. I see the Holy Spirit worked through a series of events to lead them to faith.


First, I believe there was something about the way Jesus died – that most excruciating death – torment that He honestly did not deserve. In the throes of all that, Jesus had to push against the nails just to breathe, much less to speak. What He went to such lengths to say is stunning: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).


The way He suffered and died spoke to the heart of one executed beside Him. Even a dying criminal could see this was someone extraordinary hanging on that middle cross. This criminal rebuked the third man, who was taunting Jesus, “Don’t you fear God,” “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”


 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:40-43). This was not your typical crucifixion conversation. But you see the authority of Jesus, the clarity of His purpose, right to the very last excruciating moment. He came into this world to save sinners, to die in our place.


Then there was the centurion, who no doubt saw countless men die. Yet, I marvel at how he responded to Jesus’ death, (Luke 23:47) Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” Matthew adds further details (Mt 27:54) When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”


I believe there was something about the way Jesus died that had a lingering impact on those present. But also, I am certain that the transformation in Jesus' followers after His resurrection was something that could neither be ignored nor explained away. The Eleven were just common people who at first cowered in fear, but after Jesus' resurrection – were downright courageous in their faith.


Though unschooled, they were compelling in sharing their testimony. In just a few months, after seeing thousands come to faith in Christ, each one was undeterred by any threat of punishment –even death. I also see the character of their lives as followers of Jesus as a factor in a large number of Jewish Priests to reconsider this Man from Nazareth – to the point of becoming His disciples themselves. [Ac 6:7]


Which leads us to Peter on that Resurrection Sunday morning. What does all this mean: the empty tomb, the angel's announcement, the risen Jesus Himself appearing to the women, to Peter, to the eleven and countless hundreds of others. The difference the risen Jesus made in each of their lives, their testimonies, their courageous witness – despite persecution, even death itself!


Christian faith is not simply what we do for an hour or two on Sunday morning, but who we are as Christ's redeemed people living for Him in this world that desperately needs the hope that we celebrate in our risen Savior, Jesus Christ!


Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Upcoming Events

April 6 Soup and Bake Sale to support youth summer camp.

Sunday, April 7 morning worship will include a service of ordination for Matt Nelson as elder.

Sunday, April 7, Planning Meeting for Church Family Retreat following Sunday School.


Sunday, April 7, 6 PM (note early time) Concert of Praise at Woodbury Church of the Brethren. Offering goes to Ben Blessed, a ministry to aid homeless persons in Altoona.


Sun April 14  AED Committee Meeting following Sunday school

Sun April 14 1 pm  Community Group meets at Kurtz’s


Women’s Guild, April 19, 6:00 p.m., meets in Fellowship Hall. Laurie Stiles has the program; Sandy S., Peg W. and Barb T. are the hostesses.


Sun April 21 6 pm Bible Study meets downstairs, John 13:26ff.

Ladies Spring Encounter, Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Faith Assembly in Roaring Spring.



The food pantry is requesting Cereal, Vegetable & Beef Soup, Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Relish) Slow Cooker Spice Packs (Chili & Meatloaf) and Macaroni & Cheese for the month of April.

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