Well, it is that time of year again. Time for the flowers to bloom, time for my allergies to kick in, time for countless hours spent mowing and pruning the lawn, time for baseball, and time for the C/E church goers to come out of hibernation and make their second yearly pilgrimage to the church house. C/E, you ask? Yes, those church goers who attend church twice a year because they feel they should – on Christmas and Easter. I have always felt a little perplexed by the Christmas/Easter attendance phenomenon. I often wonder if they ever get tired of hearing the same two stories over and over. They probably go home wondering why the pastor only preaches about Jesus’ birth and his resurrection. To tell you the truth, the birth of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus are truly life-changing events but C/E church goers miss an important fact – the aftermath of the resurrection, i.e. the what-do-we-do-now part of this amazing news that Christ has Risen!
In 1994 I went on a short vacation. As part of this vacation I had the opportunity to see something amazing – the Cirque du Soleil! This was an amazing show. I literally sat on the edge of my seat as people climbed 3 story poles upside down and flew from aerial station to aerial station with no safety net and built human pyramids that would make any cheer squad stop dead in their tracks! What a show. In fact if I am ever in the vicinity again of the Cirque du Soleil you can guarantee that I will be there. But as amazing as that show was, once I got back to my normal grind I realized that I did not think about that show often. Much less was my life changed by that show. I am fearful that too many half-hearted people come to church on Easter, hear the life-changing message of Christ’s resurrection but then just walk away saying, “that was a great show, next time I am in the vicinity of this story I will check it out again” yet their lives do not reflect the power of the message. Perhaps they understand the resurrection story a little, but it has not changed their lives for the better. The “what do we do now part of the amazing news” is ignored.
Luke tells us in chapter 24 of his gospel that after the resurrection two men were traveling to the village of Emmaus when the risen Savior came alongside of them and began to talk with them. They discussed Jesus at length not knowing that he was walking with them. Their whole demeanor was that the story had ended. In fact we read in verse 23 that they had heard the details of the story correctly, yet by their own admission in verse 32 they realize that this story had not changed them – “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And that is exactly where I feel C/E church goers have missed the most important part of the Easter message – that Jesus’ resurrection was not an amazing trick that warrants another visit the next time you are in the vicinity, but that Jesus resurrection is the foundational truth that points the direction for the rest of your existence here on earth and ultimately your eternal destination! Please do not look at the resurrection and find yourself saying – “what a show!” It is my prayer you attend church this Sunday. It is also my prayer that as your hear the gospel of Jesus resurrection that your life begins to reflect the power of that message, that you begin to see the resurrection as the first step on a long journey of a crucified-with-Christ life.
Luke Harris is the pastor and planter of Crossroads Community Church in Chickasha, currently meeting at Grand Avenue Elementary School. This coming Easter Sunday Crossroads will be hosting their second annual Easter Sunrise in the Park. Join us Easter morning at 7:00 AM at the amphitheater at Shannon Springs Park to celebrate together the power of Christ’s resurrection. Also, join us for worship at 10:45 AM if you do not have a church home.