42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Easter service is over! The billboards will come down, the yard signs go back in the garage, the commercials about amazing Easter shows, plays, programs, and productions are gone for now. Man was it a rush though! I’ve seen some of the most amazing productions on Easter morning at churches all over the country. As a pastor, we work long and hard hours leading up to Easter Sunday. Is it effective? I hope so. Is it needed? I don’t know. Do people find Jesus because of the effort? I know so. I also know that wherever the word of God is preached, it doesn’t return back void.
Have you ever received a gift or been on a trip or watched a movie that you were looking forward to or landed a dream job or better yet land your dream girl/guy? Remember the absolute rush of adrenaline? I remember the first time I ever jumped out of an airplane; I can’t even put it into proper words. Every since that day I’ve made over 100 parachute jumps in my lifetime. Each of them are still a thrill and each of them bring a level of nervous energy. None compare to the very first time. There is this high that is un-matched.
Easter is that way for a lot of people. They usually see the very best that a church has to offer. They see things that a church could never pull off 52 Sunday every year. They receive a high that can not be matched the next Sunday they visit any church in America. Is it right? I don’t know. Is it the way we should do Easter? Not sure. Do people find Jesus and are transformed? Absolutely.
What I want to say is this: What Now? What happens when it’s business as usual?
I want to give you three tips:
1. God loves you 52 weeks of EVERY year. Regardless of the glitz and glam on any given Sunday morning. God Loves You! You! Yep….You! God’s love for you is not contingent on what happens on Sunday morning in any church in America (or the world). God’s love for you did not start on Easter morning when you saw the Jesus guy rise from the dead on that stage. God’s love for you didn’t just start the moment the lights came on and the fog machine begin to bellow. God’s love for you started the moment he knit you in your mother’s womb. God loves you! Regaurless if you go to church one week or 52 week every year: God…..Loves…..You! What are you going to do about it? That’s the question!
2. Get involved in a group of people who can love you, encourage you, and hold you accountable. The Church is full of amazing groups of people just like you. They are not perfect. They will say dumb things. They are messy, but they want the same things you want: grace, mercy, truth, love, and growth. Transformation happens the moment you run into Jesus. The moment the Holy Spirit nudges you into a relationship with Christ the Savior. Growth happens in a community. Growth happens when you allow people to speak into your life. Holy Spirit led people. The same people who have been transformed and are growing just like you! Growth happens when you are real and honest with people who love you no matter your faults. It’s scary, raw, honest, and amazing all at the same time!
3. Tell someone your story. There is someone waiting to hear about your experience with Jesus. You will come in contact with someone who is waiting to hear about the transformation of someone just like you. They won’t think it’s possible, but it is, you have been that person. Tell someone your story.
I am hopelessly in love with the Church. I believe Jesus has ordained (put his special calling on) the body of Christ (the Church) to be his way of bringing hope into the world. Do we have faults? Yep! Is there a perfect one? Nope! Do we need you? Yes! Do you need us? Yes! Together we will make a difference in the world and not just during the Super Bowl of the church year: Easter, but everyday of every year, because it’s that big of a deal!