Pastor’s Letter for April 2024


Pastor Jim Martin of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Weston, WV
Pastor Jim Martin

It truly seems a bit odd as I compose this letter for April because Easter Sunday is behind us.  The Easter calendar is a curious thing based on full moon timings.  And this year, we had an early Easter. But here we are having walked through the Lenten season, Holy Week, and this past weekend we proclaimed our Easter mantra:   Alleluia!  Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed!  

Do you see signs of resurrection?  The tulips are budding and blooming.  (The daffodils are almost gone.)  The forsythia is breaking forth.  The redbuds and dogwoods will be awakening soon.  Trees are beginning to leaf.  The plant kingdom is reawakening from a period of dormancy.  For me these are signs of the possibilities and promises of resurrection each year. 

But there are daily signs of resurrection.  The fact that the sun rises each day may serve as a reminder of resurrection. 

Life is composed of various rhythms.  Some bright and cheerful and others dark and foreboding.  Some are movements of dormancy and deep rest that quietly build in crescendo to where life explodes before our senses.  The plant season’s rhythm set by the natural world is wrought by God’s hand.      

All creatures great and small have a birth and a death.  Such is our rhythm as creatures of God’s making.  Between birth and death we experience rhythms of the ups and the downs of human life.  Some have more dramatic lives experiencing tragedies of war and famine, rejection, and hatred.  Others have not had such perilous rhythms.

What is it that sustains human life regardless of the season we may find ourselves?  Are we called to fashion ourselves as tough enough to withstand whatever comes our way?   I don’t think so.  I believe that kind of “toughness” engenders callousness.  Would we characterize Jesus’ life as callous?  Could we define Jesus’ mission and ministry as callous toward his disciples or even those who opposed him and even put him to death?

My reading of the gospels tells me that the foundation of Jesus’ life and mission on this earth was built upon love and vulnerability, not “tough,”  callous behavior. 

For me, resurrection hope is built upon God’s love.   God’s love and vulnerability gave the Son of God the strength and courage to go to the cross and to die. 

It is Love which resurrects. It is Love which holds the plant kingdom through its dormancy and brings forth new leaf and flower each year.  Love forms the rhythm of the seasons.  Love will spring forth a resurrection of the Church, and nothing less.  How vulnerable are we willing to become for God’s unconditional love to fill our lives. Therein lies the power of Resurrection.

In Christ,

Pastor Jim