Aloha Friday Message – Thursday, April 13, 2017 – Andy Is Here!

1715AFC041317 – Andy is here

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you! (Don’t miss the Music Link!)

Aloha nui loa. That could be translated “I love you very much.” That would be accurate in spirit, certainly but perhaps is not adequate as a literal translation. Your Aloha Friday message comes today, Thursday, because tomorrow is Good Friday. Perhaps some of you will have the day off. Many of you will not; nonetheless, I want to send you my Easter greeting so that it will arrive before the weekend.

When I was growing up in Denver, our family was active in our home church, Corona Presbyterian. It was in downtown Denver at Eighth and Downing. Our Pastor, Rev. Bob Lutz, led a Sunrise Service every Easter at a nearby park, Cheesman Park. It covers about 81 acres and is located about a mile and half east of downtown. It started out as a HUGE area for a cemetery, and there are legends that it is haunted. For our family, though, it was a great place for church gatherings and summer-stock performances of plays and musicals. And church.

The main feature of the park is the wide-open central lawn. It’s surrounded by a band of trees and has three structures. On the west is a small children’s playground, on the north is a rustic gazebo and on the east, the highest point in the park, is a large neo-classical pavilion. The rest of the park is grass. In warm weather the slope down away from the pavilion, which you see pictured here, was a terrific place to play, to picnic, to sunbathe, and to enjoy a quiet respite from the busy city. It also became a place of worship at least once a year. On the Saturday before Easter, the men of the church, particularly the deacons and elders, would go to the park and set up benches and chairs for the expected crowd which seemed to me to number in the thousands.

It was a beautiful celebration and one which my dad thoroughly enjoyed. When I was invited to participate with him in getting the park ready for the service, it was like a rite of passage and to this day is one of my most cherished memories. I particularly remember on Easter Sunday when we awoke very early – long before sunrise – to find about eight inches of snow had fallen and buried the park and all the seating we had worked so hard to set up the day before. The moment we knew, Dad and I sped off toward the park (we lived in University Hills about 20 miles away for downtown Denver), and joined a dozen or so other men who were rushing to clear the snow from the benches and chairs. I recall that this work was done cheerfully and with the expectation that the seats would be filled.

Well, as you might expect, attendance that year was pretty low. Despite the weather, the cold, and the diminished crowd, the spirit of the day was led by The Spirit. Our traditional Easter Greeting was, “The Lord is risen!” and the response was, “He is risen indeed!” That declaration and affirmation really resonated that particular Easter. For years after that, until my dad passed away on the day of his eighty-first birthday, one of us would call the other on Easter morning and say, “The Lord is risen!” And in that instant two hearts, two minds, two souls, two servants lifted hearts, minds, hands, and voices to affirm “He is risen indeed.”

So, today, in anticipation of Easter, I say to you, “The Lord is risen!” and as you read this He will know that you are responding in your heart, in your mind, in your soul “He is risen indeed!”

Romans 8:10-1110 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

  • Are you absolutely certain Jesus rose from the dead?
  • How will you experience and share the Resurrection in your own life starting now and never ending?

The Season of Easter lasts from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. Is Christ raised from the dead? Yes! He is risen, indeed! I invite you to haul out your Bible and find 1 Corinthians 15:12-56. Yep, it’s a long passage, but you should still look it up and read it. Here is what it looks like if you click on the link. You can use the little T to close a version and the drop-down box to change a version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can live out our faith in the Resurrection by seeing and being Jesus to all we meet. If we read Matthew’s account of the Resurrection, we see that Jesus was alive and in charge immediately after the event. Take a look at this amazing passage:

Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Belovéd, see him now!

Q: Where do we need to go to see Jesus?

A: Nowhere or anywhere or everywhere because HE IS RISEN and tells us that he is with us always (See Matthew 28:16-20) If you will look at that passage – in your own Bible or online – you will see in verse 17 ~ When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Even with Jesus standing right in front of them, for some it was just too incredible to be credible. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus walked with the two Disciples, but they did not know him until he broke the bread and shared it with them. I know for sure that he is risen, because I have walked with him, too. (↔ Music Link) Come with me to his Garden. Walk with us. The Lord is risen, he is risen indeed. I do not doubt that at all.

(And why does the Title say Andy is here you wonder? Perhaps you’ve heard the story about the little boy telling his mama that he knew God’s name and that it was “Andy.”

His mama asked him, “How do you know God’s name is Andy?”

The little boy said, “Because that’s what it says in the song!”

“What song?” she asked.

He replied, “The one we sing at church. It says, ‘I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses. Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me. Andy tells me I am his own.’”) Even a child knows that he is risen, and he is here!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd! Enjoy every moment of The Triduum! Aloha nui loa!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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