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KEEPING THE FAITH | Today's celebration of redemption

This weekend, roughly one-third of the earth’s population will either celebrate Passover or Resurrection Sunday. Both events are recognized as celebrations of deliverance.
The Rev. Lewis W. Macklin

Grand rising! 

This weekend, roughly one-third of the earth’s population will either celebrate Passover or Resurrection Sunday. Both of these miraculous events represent a form of redemption and both are yet another reminder of the close spiritual bond between Jews and Christians.

Both events are recognized as celebrations of deliverance — one from the despair of slavery and the other from the dejection of sin. Together, Passover and Resurrection Sunday reveal light upon the deep roots of both Judaism and Christianity.  Essentially, they represent the supernatural hope that is found in God’s love for His people. 

Especially in the throngs of a pandemic, as we celebrate this sacred season with family and friends, it remains my hope and prayer we may come and stay together in joy and peace.

I also have Good News from the Great Gospel. God's resurrection power did not end on Easter! The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is at work in us today. It is time to rise up. Thank God who can make all things new. There is no better time for a new beginning than while celebrating victory over death. The Son’s sacrifice enables us to walk daily in power, wholeness, purpose, and life. 

If there is an area of your life that needs God's Resurrection Power, He has it for you today! May God go before you into every dead space in your life and speak a word of renewal and rebirth. 

Oh God, please release a fresh wind of anointing unto every reader of this week’s installment. May God give you the strength to overcome everything that you are facing. May He provide a clear mind so that you will make good and sound decisions. I pray for a peaceful heart that will soothe and calm your fears that would otherwise paralyze you. May His Angels stand sentinel around your life to protect you from all dangers- seen and unseen. Allow God to penetrate all situations in your life while He imparts a hopeful word of renewal and rebirth. May He give LIFE to your dwindling finances, dull relationships and deferred hope and dreams.  

You are invited: As president of the Baptist Pastors Council of Youngstown, I am extending an opportunity for the community to share in the premiere viewing of the Martin Luther King Commemoration Services on Sunday, April 11 at 3 p.m. The virtual services will be aired and shared via www.facebook/bpcytown. We are blessed to have the Rev. Gena Thornton to deliver the message. Sean Barron will share excerpts from Dr. King’s prophetic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” sermon delivered the evening prior to his assassination. Pastor Kenneth Simon will offer a reflection and Elder Cynthia Palmer will be the guest psalmist. 

The council will also present the Testament of Hope Scholarship Recipient. The fund honors the life and legacy of civil right icons, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his beloved companion Coretta Scott King who extolled education as a pathway. King’s last essay, “Testament of Hope,” was published posthumously. This article presents a summary of Dr. King’s thoughts on the complex and inter-related issues of the fight against racism, for equality, against war, for world peace and social progress. In this insightful essay, Rev. King reminds us that after all the pain and suffering he experienced, he was still an optimist. 

While Dr. King was a noble man, we honor on this day the King of Kings! Thanks be to God, for the indescribable gift of His Son! As this day unfolds, help may we remain mindful that we can share in the power of a risen Savior as our source of hope.  Recognize the power of His promise, that He will never leave nor forsake us. It is recorded within sacred text, “That even when my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.” 

We are grateful that He holds the world within the palm of His steady hands. While at times the problems we face appear grave and difficult, He continues to show Himself strong.  

Dear Lord, we pray that not our will, but please let Your will be done while extending a peace toward each that surpasses all understanding. We are resting in the knowledge that if You are for us, then who can be against us. Let the light of Your resurrection shine anew in our lives and embolden us to keep the faith. It shall be so!   

The Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II serves as the lead pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, chaplain for the Youngstown Police Department and local coordinator for the African American Male Wellness Walk of the Mahoning Valley. He resides in Youngstown with Dorothy, his partner in marriage and ministry. They share the love and joy of six children and seven grandchildren.

— All biblical citations are King James Version unless noted otherwise.