This year’s Lenten sermon series has been one of the most meaningful series of all time for me personally. I have enjoyed the personal growth that I have experienced and have been encouraged by the feedback I have received from members of the congregation. The conversations that it has started within our faith community and the spiritual growth of others has been inspirational. God is at work in our midst!

I think that the challenge to repent of the things that keep us from living life abundantly with God and the call to stay committed to advancing Christ’s Kingdom have really struck a chord with our members. In a world where much is changing and many things seem out of our control, the call to take up one’s cross and follow Jesus, crucifying worry, unforgiveness, guilt and self-centeredness all with the unifying goal of advancing Christ’s Kingdom, has brought much fruit to our members. The sermon series accompanied by the 22 Questions of John Wesley is challenging us and preparing our hearts for a wonderful Easter celebration.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year. Seeing the grass green up, the trees sprout their new leaves and the flowering trees and plants come alive with blooms of color is such a sharp contrast to the brown barrenness of winter. God is re-creating the earth anew and Easter brings the church’s alleluia in celebration of Christ’s redeeming work in our lives. Easter will be special this year because of the victories that many are experiencing through the things that have been given up for Lent. God is encouraging more prayer where there used to be worry, peace where there used to be unforgiveness, forgiveness where there was guilt and humility where there was self-centeredness. For we have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).

And while all this change is happening within us, new things are occurring around us. I am very excited to report that our window restoration is on schedule and that the stained-glass windows that have been removed over the past few months will be back in the sanctuary for our Easter celebrations. With their completion, more than one-third of the restoration will be accomplished. We are well on our way to taking care of this major sanctuary project. Having the restored windows in for Easter celebration will be a blessing.

The new Hispanic congregation Vida Abudante will also launch its worshiping community on Easter. Thanks to the lead gifts of Marvin members, the service hours and materials contributed by our Marvin Menders and contributions to the Easter offering, we will help Rev. Emigdio Rosales birth a new Methodist congregation. We rejoice in the spiritual renewal that this will bring to the Tyler community.

I hope that you have registered for the Re:New launch event occurring on April 4 at Green Acres Baptist Church. This will be an exciting evening of worship and prayer as we ready our hearts for Cityfest East Texas, coming to the Tyler Square in October. Please begin to pray for the harvest of those who will come to Christ through our city-wide evangelistic efforts.

God is at work among us. Please join me in praying for revival for our community.