North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

CONTACT
Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200
em@npac.org.hk

ADDRESS
2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

Eastertide

By Rev. Philip Chow

Apr 21, 2024

       In the liturgical calendar, the 40th day from Easter Sunday is the Ascension Day.  It is followed by Pentecost 10 days later (which falls on May 19 this year). This 50-day period is called Eastertide. During this period, although NPAC does not have a special worship order or worship songs in our worship services like we do at Advent and Lent, we do remember that Jesus is risen from the dead.

       After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples. However, the disciples were not sure about what to do with the resurrected Christ before their eyes. Luke 24 tells us that two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize the Lord with “… their faces downcast” (Luke 24:17). Now is that also what you and I look like in our daily lives?

      No doubt, we all have challenges and obstacles: The pressure of work that seem to never subside; health troubles looming over ourselves and our family members; the growth and studies of children; the exam pressure for the youth; unfortunate events in society… All these seem to be solid reasons that make our faces “downcast.” You might as well say: There is simply no reason why we should smile all the time before others.

      As a pastor, I am no exception. I have to tackle these times as they are: Sometimes the load of ministry is very heavy and the pressure is immense; or I would worry about the spiritual growth of brothers and sisters; or my heart and soul can be tired at times. I acknowledge that many a time my face is “downcast.”

     Because of the ministries I am responsible for, I lead worship services and meetings in different worship halls of the church. Every time I see the cross in the middle of the hall, I will remember that Jesus not only leads us “out of death” but also “into life.” The mighty power of the cross reminds us that the Lord who is risen from the dead surpasses all limitations. Although the feeling of lack of strength does not vanish right away, the cross reminds me of this: That Christ is risen from the dead and we will only need to look unto Him.

     After the two disciples had met Jesus, He kept explaining the Scripture to them (Luke 24:27). Looking back, they asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) We encounter the Lord in our lives. He brings us hope that is unique. We can rely on the mighty power of the resurrected Lord to live each day. This assurance of triumph fuels our way forward.   

      On Easter Sunday several weeks ago, one of the hymns goes like this:

           “We know that Christ is raised and dies no more.

           Embraced by death He broke its fearful hold;

           and our despair He turned to blazing joy.

           Alleluia!”
          (“We Know That Christ Is Raised,” #273, Sounds of Grace)

The next time we say, “May the power of the resurrected Christ be with you,” we know that it is not just another simple phrase but rather the hope we believe in with steadfast conviction.