Student Ministry - April 2022
Dear Church Family,
Spring is in the air, and I hope it has brought you the nicer weather and the beautiful sights that normally come with it. By the time you read this, I should be enjoying our newborn baby girl. It is appropriate for her to be born in the Spring when everything in nature is pointing to the power of God to bring life into the world. That is partly because she is a new life coming into the world, but another reason this is a timely event is because we have decided to name her Anastasia.
We picked the name Anastasia because of its meaning. It comes from the Greek word anastasis which means resurrection. Spring is the time every year that we are reminded that God is the God of life. Spring is also the time of year that we celebrate Easter: the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the many different reminders that God is the giver of life, and not just life right now, but eternal, resurrected life to all who believe in Jesus as their risen Lord and Savior. This is the truth that I cherish the most, and Anastasia will help me to remember to believe it. Let me explain:
One of the most striking conversations in the Bible is recorded in John chapter 11 when Martha said to Jesus that if He had been there when her brother Lazarus was sick, then Lazarus would not have died. I can’t help but wonder what all she was thinking. Was she confused why Jesus delayed in coming to see them? Was she upset with Jesus? Was she simply stating a fact and wondering if there was anything Jesus could do now that Lazarus had actually died? All of those scenarios are plausible and unremarkable. But what is remarkable is Jesus’ response to her.
Jesus tells Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” This is an astonishing statement! We know from the rest of the narrative that Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. He really did it! Jesus called Himself the anastasis and then actually proved it in real life. But before He proved it, He asked Martha an important question; He said, “Do you believe this?” Well, do we?
We named our daughter Anastasia so that we will constantly be reminded to keep believing the truth; that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. When life gets hard, when hope seems to fail, when questions, worry, frustration, and confusion get the best of me, I want to remember that Jesus solved my real problem. He purchased my life for me, and I can take it easy knowing that He will raise me up to an everlasting life. In Him, I will never truly die. There is nothing that can stop those of us who believe this truth from living with all our might for the glory of God. So, will you commit to believing the truth? Will you live without fear? Will you live for God’s glory, which is your good? I hope Anastasia will help everyone she meets to do just that.