I really enjoyed yesterday. It was Easter Sunday–a day that can embody all the best of faith and family. Plus, the weather was great. Two of my three kids were able to come back home and enjoy a great dinner together with an extra friend. It was just a really good day. Church was very nice. Somehow songs about the resurrection took on a whole new significance.
The pastor referred to Dr. Tony Campolo and his, now classic, sermon. My daughter wasn’t aware of the message so it gave me an excuse to look it up so I could send her a link. It is truly a great message. Toward the end, Tony shared his memories of preaching at a “preach off” at an African-American church. One of the preachers did a 90 minutes focused on one phrase. He would describe the followers of Christ in various stages of despair seeing Jesus on the cross. Then the pastor would say, but they didn’t know. “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a comin'”.
It also made me remember the opening line of a sermon I heard about this time over thirty years ago. “The problem with many Christians is that they are living on the wrong side of Easter.”
You see, before the resurrection, it’s a little easier to understand how some people can tend to give up hope. I can’t really imagine what that first Good Friday must have felt like. Not knowing what would occur in two short days, it’s understandable that they would feel that all was lost.
However, the sadder truth, is that so often knowing what already did happen on the first Resurrection Day, we can fall into old patterns of despair and disillusionment or just distraction and drifting through life.
I woke up this morning thinking about both of those older sermons and reminded myself that even though it is Monday, Sunday’s not coming. It already came. I don’t need to wait for the power of the resurrection in my life, I need to live in it. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, I also need to pray that the eyes of my own heart “…may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called [me], the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
I want to live, daily, in the reality of the resurrection.
I don’t want to settle for a mediocre existence. I want to live in the power of the resurrection and participate in the abundant life that Jesus came to give (John 10:10). I don’t say this because I want a happy life. I say this because God deserves our best. A lost and dying world is hoping to meet us at our best. A saved and hurting world is also in need of ministry that God longs to bring into their lives through us.
Will you join me on the journey? Throughout this week, I will post some additional thoughts on what this will take and what it would look like if we really believed what God says about our lives because of the Resurrection. Please come back each day this week. Better yet, I’d invite you to subscribe in the box in the right column. I promise I will never share your information with anyone else.
How about you? How do you do with living out your faith after the big day? Please share below.