Pastor's Message
Ramapo Reformed Church
100 Island Road
Mahwah, NJ. 07430
              And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
              Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one,
                                                              as we are one.
 - John 17:11, NRSV

Easter, 2018

Dear Friends:

The celebration of Easter is known as a movable feast.  A “feast,” because it is a day of rejoicing and
fulfillment, and “movable,” because the date can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 23,
depending on when the first full moon occurs after the vernal equinox.  Interestingly, the date of Easter
this year is April 1st, a day reserved for laughter and practical jokes.  The background for April Fool’s
Day dates back to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, but this year with Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s
Day and Easter on April Fool’s Day, we see how faith and theology will at times intersect more directly
with culture and society.  This is nothing new, nor is it anything to be avoided, because theology and
faith are intended to inform us and help us function as constructive children of God within culture and
society.  It is as Jesus told his disciples in the verse referenced above: we are to be in the world, yet not of
the world.  We are to find value, inspiration, and motivation from knowing that by Jesus’ dying and
being raised from the dead, God has provided a way and means to allow us to be free from the power
and effects of sin and evil that so grip the world in which we live.  Throughout history, one of the ways
in which God’s children have sought to be faithful is to separate themselves from the world.  This
approach requires strength, courage, and resolve in order to accomplish it responsibly and with a
measure of sustainability.  I contend that being a child of faith with the hope of Easter in one’s heart,
while concurrently being in the world but not of the world, necessitates every bit as much strength,
courage, and resolve.  The point is to glorify God in our daily life, no matter what we do.  With this in
mind and however we celebrate Easter, despite how many cultural aspects we include in our
celebration, may we seek to always look beneath the surface in order to see the glory of our risen Savior.  
Happy Easter!  Join with us as you are able, and remember that God loves you and went to great lengths
in order to show it.  No fooling!


Pastor Bill