THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
ENCOUNTERING THE RISEN CHRIST
April 24, 2011
Lord is risen! Today is Easter Sunday, and we celebrate that
most momentous event in the life of our faith, that of the
resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ.
is a momentous event not only for all Christians, but especially
for us CFC-FFL. We are a people called to holiness of life
and to the work of proclaiming the good news of salvation
in Jesus. But without Easter we would have no basis for who
we are called to be and what we are called to do. The truth
is that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is
vain; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:17). “And
if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching”
(1 Cor 15:14a).
the Lord indeed is risen! Jesus has risen from the dead! By
going to the cross, shedding his blood and giving his life,
and now rising from the dead, Jesus has won for us our salvation.
He has defeated death, sin, darkness and Satan. He is our
CFC-FFL, we have encountered the risen Christ in our lives.
This is why we live and serve as we do. Called to holiness
and called to evangelize, these are not easy to do. We need
a power beyond ourselves. That is precisely what Easter is
all about. It manifests supernatural power by which Jesus
rose from the dead. It is the supernatural power by which
we are able to live for Christ.
on our 30th year, looking to our theme “My God is now
my strength!,” we look to Easter. “The Lord, my
strength and might, came to me as savior.” (Ps 118:14).
We have experienced and learned a lot in 30 years. But an
encounter with the living Jesus is the key to his strength
in our lives.
the apostles. They learned and experienced a lot as they were
with Jesus every day for about three years. They heard his
teaching, and away from the crowds they were able to ask him
what he meant (Mt 13:36,17:10,24:3). They were sent out on
practicum, and they were able to drive out demons and cure
the sick (Mk 6:13). They were awe-struck by his mighty deeds
(Mk 4:41). Peter, James and John witnessed the transfiguration
of Jesus (Mk 9:2).
still they failed in many things. They misunderstood what
he said (Mt 16:7). They jostled for positions of honor (Mt
20:20-21). They prevented people from bringing their children
to Jesus (Mk 10:13). They wanted to prevent an exorcist who
was not with their group (Mk 9:38). They wanted to use their
power to devastate their enemies (Lk 9:54). Judas betrayed
him, Peter denied him, and the rest of them abandoned him.
After the crucifixion, now totally discouraged, some of them
went back to fishing (Jn 21:2-3). With the resurrection, Peter
and John still did not understand (Jn 20:9).
what happened when they encountered the risen Jesus (and were
empowered by the Holy Spirit)? Peter was emboldened and became
effective in preaching (Acts 2:14,41). They lived community
(Acts 2:42-47a). They evangelized rapidly and massively (Acts
2:47b,4:4,5:14,16:5). They could not be prevented from proclaiming
the good news (Acts 4:20). They were persecuted but continued
with the preaching of the word (Acts 8:1-4). Almost all of
them became martyrs for their faith.
In CFC-FFL, we hear the teachings of Jesus, we live the community
life as his people, we have experienced rapid and massive
evangelization, we have served in many ways, we have been
given victory over the forces of the enemy. We have experienced
what the apostles experienced when Jesus was with them. But
for the apostles, the real turn-around, the profound transformation,
the opening of eyes and minds and hearts, only came about
when they met the risen Jesus face to face.
too is what we need. We need a personal encounter with the
risen Lord, and enter deeply into a personal relationship
with Jesus as Savior and Lord. What is the gauge that such
has happened? It is when we are ready to give our all, to
be totally faithful to our covenant with him, to serve him
without counting the cost, to be willing to give our lives
for the cause. It is when we begin to realize that the resurrection
of Jesus is about our rising to new life as well, and we begin
to truly focus our whole lives on Jesus.“If then you
were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ
is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above,
not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life
is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-3).
we have our particular mission, and that is evangelization.
Easter and our designated task are intimately related. “This
man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by
God in advance, .... He commissioned us to preach to the people”
the spiritual war that we engage in as we evangelize, we are
assured that we serve the victorious Jesus, who has already
conquered the enemy. We go forth in the power and strength
of Jesus’ Spirit. “The joyful shout of deliverance
is heard in the tents of the victors: ‘The Lord’s
right hand strikes with power; the Lord’s right hand
is raised; the Lord’s right hand strikes with power.’
I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord.”
Let us go forth in the power of the resurrection, with Christ
the Lord as our strength.
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