Love Illuminated

Today is still Easter


Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish brought a new baby into the world.John 16:19-20-21 (NLT)

Written by Pastor Tim White

I love Easter. We had such a blessed time at Washington Cathedral this year. A turnaround church is a miracle and Easter marked the breaking of the barrier – building the core, envisioning the spiritual growth that we can all experience through the risen Lord.

Today is still Easter; not the holiday we celebrate once a year based on its relationship with Passover, but Christ the Lord is risen! He is indeed. Everyday!

As Jackie and I enjoyed our Easter family dinner and egg hunt with our precious little grandkids, who will be committed world changers, we basked in the chaos. They are all so cute! We love our extended family and in-laws so much. We could not help but dream in such a joy-filled setting.

TRejoice_Easterhat night I was reminded again of the gift of joy when I was watching an interview with John Travolta, one of my favorite actors, where he was defending the church of Scientology. He said, “Find me any other religion that has one of its main tenants as joy.” I yelled at the TV, “Following Jesus Christ! ‘Joy to the world’, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’, ‘Joy at the resurrection’, ‘Joy as a fruit of real spirituality’.” Of course it was a one way conversation but the sentiment rings true, especially as we celebrate Easter.

Now is the time to live with a new sense of joy and power from Easter. Joy to tackle each of our problems from the foundation of a loving grace-filled community of friends like Washington Cathedral.

I was reminded again of this community at Washington Cathedral when Jackie came and read to me from the hundreds of contact cards that had been filled out from this weekend’s services. Some said, “Where has this church been? I’ve been looking for a community like this.” Cards from many people in our church said, “I love my church family at Washington Cathedral.” As we read all the encouraging notes we both said, “It’s going to be fun to see what God has for us and those we love in the near future.” What we didn’t say aloud but felt deeply was that every day is Easter because Jesus is still risen – still alive and still being a revolution of love in this world.

Easter Message by Pastor Tim White: Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Photo Credit

Easter an end or a beginning


Written by Fiona Monaghan Three years before the first Easter, Jesus stated his mission with the reading of the proclamation in Isaiah 61:1-2:

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

As the time came for him to leave, Jesus had gathered faithful men from all walks of life and it was finals week, crunch time, feet to the fire time. He knew his time was short, that the end was fast approaching. He had said all he could say. His teaching had offered a great hope, that this life is not the end. The way it should have been before sin entered this world and set humans at odds with their Heavenly Father where the choice instead of what is best became what is best for me. From this premise every war, every argument, every hurt would come.

He had made enemies within the Jewish Leadership, and they were going to use all the power at their disposal to bring about his demise. He had left it all in the hands of a few disciples and his teachings would either take off after his death or die in the dust.

As history has shown, those disciples with the help of God’s Holy Spirit did take those teachings and spread them far and wide. We now have proof that what Jesus started back 2000 plus years ago was truly a force to be reckoned with. It is the only religion that has a God coming down to man.

cross against the skyA way was provided for reconciliation to be acquired and it isn’t all up to us and the power of our own will to earn our salvation. To be made right with God and be adopted into His family is a gift freely offered. We celebrate Easter not because of the death of a great man, but because that great man conquered death and rose from the dead on Resurrection Sunday!

Death is no longer is a thing to be feared but a doorway to something much better and greater than we can even imagine…

Wouldn’t this Easter be a great time to really take a deep look at this gift of eternal life and all that it entails? For those of us with faith to be more appreciative of it and be willing to share it and for those who are still seeking something to believe in. Jesus’ gift is still extended to all. Take this weekend to celebrate and acknowledge the great gift we’ve been given this Easter!

Photo Credit

The Risen Son


By Pastor Rey Diaz Crowds in cities like Thessalonica, Philippi, or Corinth: Who is this odd little man, sounding as if he’s a royal herald making a proclamation about a new emperor? And who is this new emperor anyway?

Paul: He is a Jew! And he was crucified! He is called Jesus!

Crowd: At this point mouths drop open with incredulity. People stare. This guy is drunk. Or crazy. Crucifixion is about the most shameful thing that can happen to you. Besides if he was crucified it means he’s dead. How can a crucified man be the Lord, the Son of God?

Paul: No! He’s alive! God raised him from the dead!

Crowd: Now the crowd knows Paul is mad. Everybody knows perfectly well that dead people don’t come back to life. It’s the ultimate statistic. 100% of people will die. No one escapes.

Paul: I have good news to share. The Messiah died for our sins in accordance to the Bible and he was raised on the third day!

This was and continues to be shocking, scandalous and foolishness to the crowd. But Paul continues sharing this Easter message. There is after all one true God, the God of Israel. He made the whole world, and he planned an amazing rescue operation for that world.

The news is that this rescue operation has happened! Jesus, who died and was raised, is Israel’s Messiah and when he returns he will be Lord of he whole world.

You can see why the gospel was considered scandalous by most. But in essence Paul was just sharing good news; it is the news that something has happened and as a result the world is a different place. It wasn’t a new religion, moral system, or philosophy.

One can debate the merits of a religion, moral system, or philosophy, but a news event is discussed in a different way. Either the event happened or it didn’t; if it did happen, either it means what people say it means, or it doesn’t.

Paul was telling the people that Jesus death and resurrection had changed the world, that the world was now a different place, and that he was summoning them to be part of that new, different reality. This event would cause them to adjust their entire lives in order to come into line with the way things now were.

When Roman heralds came into a city like Thessalonica announcing that a new emperor had been enthroned, the didn’t mean, “Here is a new sort of imperial experience, and you might like to see if it suits you.” They meant, “Tiberius (or any other emperor) is the Lord of the World. You are lucky recipients of this good news; he demands your loyalty, your allegiance, and of course you taxes.” That’s how Roman good news worked.

Paul uses the word ‘herald” to talk about his own mission sharing the good news. He wasn’t offering people a new type of torch so they could see better in the dark. He was saying that the sun had risen, and that if you would only open the curtains you’d see that you don’t need torches anymore.


“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C S Lewis.

That is what is written on his memorial tablet in Westminster Abbey. That is what Easter does for us. When we let the message of Easter get inside of us and then we look out at the world, then suddenly you see everything else in a new way. “A way that makes sense of everything- startling, shocking sense, a sudden and scary clarity. This is what Paul means by the “power” of this “good news.” It does things to people. It transforms.”

Easter is at the center of the gospel. The Messiah died, was buried, was raised, and was seen. Take that away and Christianity collapses. Put it in its proper place and the whole world is different. This good news about what has happened points to the good news about what is yet to happen. Death’s defeat. Eternal life. Resurrection. Heaven. That’s what Easter is about. Come celebrate with us this weekend!

books_shortstopsPS – I have borrowed heavily from a book by N.T. Wright “Simply Good News: Why the Gospel is News and What makes it Good” to write this little blog.   And by ‘borrowed heavily’ I mean straight plagerism in some parts. I decided to read this book during holy week and have been so inspired. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone. Get it here: Simply Good News.

Photo Credit

Shine with Christ’s light


Written by Fiona Monaghan Light…we can’t live without it. The light from the sunshine feeds us with vitamin D and helps us thrive. It creates beauty in the form of plants, trees and flowers. It’s an essential part of our lives.

Darkness is the absence of light and it is used as the simile of those things not good in our world. Crime is committed under the cover of darkness, secrets are kept in the dark.

Light bulb and broken bulbsWhen Jesus makes the statement in John “I am the Light of the world…” could it be he is speaking of that ability to makes sense of things and people and things that happen to us?

He sent his son into a world during a very dark time for Israel. Roman government dictated what was allowed in the region. Freedom of speech was not recognized and children and women had no value and were considered little more than property. The religious leaders of the time didn’t seem to be giving much hope where God was concerned, just more rules to follow.

Then, Jesus comes to this scene, his words and teaching were full of enlightenment and he spoke of a loving Heavenly Father. He stated if they saw Him they had seen what God was like because they were the same.

The people eagerly followed him, caught in the brilliance and truth of his words. They continued his teachings of love and light spreading his message of hope throughout the world. The people that heard their message and saw their actions in turn passed on the message of Good News to more people. Through light and love the world has been changed!

Light exposes darkness whether in our actions or thoughts. Seek to live in the light… grow and shine with Christ’s love!

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)

Photo Credit