The Beauty of the Resurrection

March 30, 2021 by Rev. Erin Hayes-Cook

“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life–this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us–we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete,” 1 John 1:1-4.

The power of the resurrection is for you, too. I already know that you did your best to preach the gospel via small in-person worship, a pre-recorded video, or live stream. This Easter looked and felt different than last year when we thought we would just be able to move through a pandemic in a few months. Our endurance has been challenged in more ways than we can count.

But the beauty of the resurrection of Jesus is that it is not dependent on how many Easter baskets were sent out or the colors of the flowers on the Easter cross. Yes, the love and admiration of God and the transformation we find in the resurrection of Jesus are beautiful and cause us to stand in awe. Thanks be to God, resurrection is not dependent on human hands.

Beauty and joy reside in you. I invite you to spend time this Eastertide uncovering that joy inside of you. Whatever sparks your joy in God, find ways to nurture it. Let the power of new life erupt in you. What if this Eastertide we focus on how the gospel has transformed our lives? What if we return to the love of our hearts that brought us to serving God at the very beginning? New life is available even to the ones who are excited to see it come alive in others. Perhaps after all the trials of this year, new life will spring up in you like a beautiful flower. We just ask Jesus to help us see it.

Author of love, write in our aching hearts so that we can see the new life you long to show us.

In January of 2013, Rev. Hayes-Cook accepted the call to be the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Rahway, NJ. Her subsequent ordination was on April 7, 2013 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. She has served First Rahway for seven years as the first woman of color to pastor the community in its 275-year-history. Gaining great joy in walking alongside the diverse community she serves through her local presbytery and synod. She is looking forward to studying for a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Duke Divinity School. Rev. Hayes-Cook and her husband Lawrence welcomed their first child, a daughter, in June 2019.