Believing For Believers
For at least 10 years, probably closer to 15 years, at my previous church, we would host Teen Challenge on Easter Sunday. I would advertise to the community, come hear real-life stories of the Resurrection. By the time the students were done with their testimonies, there was not a dry eye in the sanctuary. So, for more years than most Pastors are willing to give up, I did not preach on any of those Easter Sundays. Five years ago we had an Easter skit and four years ago was my first time in many years to share the ultimate message of God's love. Of course, last year was the only Easter we did not celebrate together (in-person) because of the Pandemic. My promise to God and this congregation is we will never again allow man to dictate when and where we can worship. We will not be controlled by fear of the unknown.
The world still needs to hear about the power of the Gospel, a Gospel that still powerfully affects my life even after 47 years. The scriptures tell us God's Holy Spirit has come to live in jars of clay. We are all flawed vessels. God wants these flawed vessels to pour out His message of hope to a hurting world. Hundreds of individuals who call Northwest Wisconsin home need to hear this message now more than ever. Easter is not only a day for believers to celebrate, but a day to believe for more believers! In three weeks we celebrate another Easter Sunday. Let's make sure it's not so much about what most of us will do with this day off (which is always a great day to spend with family) but rather about who can we invite because so many missed the opportunity last year? It would do us all well to remember the magnitude of the first Easter Sunday some 2000 years ago. His great sacrifice of love covered over our great magnitude of sin. He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed! What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Part of our responsibility as Christ-followers is to help keep the message of Easter clear, concise, and current. If you asked most children today what Easter is about, they would likely tell you it is about the Easter Bunny and finding Easter Eggs. There is nothing wrong with wholesome activities attached to any sacred holiday; the danger is in the true meaning of the season being replaced or relegated to being just some ole church celebration. On the other hand, the cross, which suspended Jesus between heaven and earth, has never drawn followers to it because of its beauty. Yet in the end, the beauty of the cross is not in its composition but what it provided each of us in the form of forgiveness. Not to cause any unnecessary guilt or pressure, but please remember there are only so many Easters one has to invite a friend to church. Based on averages I only have about 20-some left. Easter Sunday is coming soon! No time to lose!