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Easter Greetings!

Built on a Rock
Pastor Nita Parker, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Hills

John 20:21-22: “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” 
Here in our text, Jesus offers us peace. Then Jesus sends us out into the world. He breathes on them, sending the Holy Spirit!
What an important text! Jesus offers us peace! Then he sends us out into the world, to share the good news! Jesus breathes on us the Holy Spirit, giving us everything we need to do the work that God has for us to do.
So, what is it that we are to do? The text goes on to say in John 20:23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Jesus is teaching us to live together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus is teaching us to live in peace with each other, to expect the best of each other, and to give the best to each other! Receive the Holy Spirit! Live in peace!
There is one big expectation here that we are sent out – sent out of the sanctuary, sent into our communities, into our county, into our state and into the world. We are to share the love of Christ in a way that will breathe life into others.
What is your mission? What is the task that God is asking you to do? What is the mission of each of us, and what is it that we are supposed to do?
Sometimes that mission is to invite and include new people to our worship and Bible studies. Sometimes we are to share the scriptures with others. Sharing God’s Good News with others is important. Sometimes we are to offer joy, peace and love to our neighbors and family and friends.
Sometimes we are asked to take another step, to reach out to those who are not so close. Sharing money with other mission projects who go to various places is important. We have a group of youth going to Greenville, Mississippi, in June. We will reach out, help others in the neighborhood, paint, clean and build friendships.
We each have own path that God gives us, and we each need to look closely at what we are asked to do. Can you share God’s love in your unique way? Are you doing all that you are asked to do to share the Good News? Jesus has the answer!
Mission-minded people look for new ways to help others, to reach out and share the Good News. Mission-minded people do their best to share the love of God with others by inviting them to worship, inviting other kids to VBS, inviting others to join them on a mission trip, and sharing money in a way that supports the mission project!
Please take time to look at where you might reach out to others and share God’s love!

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