Easter Devotions

Sign up now to receive a daily devotion to your inbox from Palm Sunday, April 9 through the fourth Sunday of Easter, May 7. A daily email can serve as a reminder to take a break and to put Christ first this season. 
 
God calls us to Him each day. We have a chance to silence the distractions that fill our lives. We have a chance to pause and to reflect on the wonder of this most precious gift of His Son.
 
Brought to you by the Spiritual Life Team, Epiphany members and friends have contributed to the creation of this devotional booklet. If you prefer, you can read each day’s devotion right here on this page, and hard copies will also be available to pick up from April 2-April 16. 

Growth

 

by Kristen Zimmann

He turned the rock into a pool.
He turned the hard rock into springs of water.          –Psalm 114:8

About once a week, a sweet voice calls through the door that connects my house to my Mom, Joyce’s house – “Will you please mail a card for me?” As I take them to the mailbox, I always feel like I’m holding a piece of love. In my head, I call them “love-drops.” Better than a gumdrop, it’s a physical piece of the love of Jesus dropped into someone’s life. It’s a card of encouragement or empathy or shared joy, and quite surely, blessed is the recipient.

One of the themes that could be selected for these devotions was “Growth of the Church.” How does a church grow? What does that growth look like? What does it have to do with the members? As I pondered Epiphany through the lens of growth, a vision started at the top tier – the church as an organization, the staff, the committees, the programs, the worship – all the machinery. But that tier quickly faded, and the vision was replaced with individuals – with a memory of someone digging in the flowerbed outside Epiphany’s door, planting something, and taking a moment to just say hi and smile at me – a “kindness-drop.”


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I’D LIKE TO DO A SIGN

 

by Larry A. Hoffsis

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.                –John 20:30-31

I am struck by what the gospel-writer John said about Jesus and signs. Jesus didn’t “make” them, He “did” them!

I’m accustomed to seeing signs carried by various groups for the purpose of proclaiming a message. The marchers start with a poster-board, grab a wide-brush Sharpie, think-up a clever saying, and attach the poster to a stick for waving above their heads.


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God is Love

 

by Miriam Kettlehake

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.      –Song of Songs 8:6-7

My granddaughter is being married this day in California, and young love is in the air. The service will be outdoors in a beautiful garden along the coast, and we pray God will surely be present with His blessing.

The above verses tell of the powerful love of God and how it cannot be quenched. It is there for us whether we are wealthy or poor, and we cannot demand it.


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The Good News Proclaimed

by Melonie June Johns 

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you — unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them — though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.          —1 Corinthians 15:1-11


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Grapes, Growth and the Empty Tomb

by Andy Addy

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

–Matthew 28:1-10


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The Passion Narrative, Matthew 26:31-46

 

Peter’s Denial Foretold

31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd, 
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
 
32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33 Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.

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The Passion Narrative, Matthew 26:1-30

 

The Passover with the Disciples

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
 
20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”

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