I would not for a moment compare our Easter Sunday to anyone else's--and I hope this will in no way lead you to do so--but we had a great Easter Sunday at Covington Bible Church, where I have been privileged to invest my life. Many factors lead to my conclusion; probably some of them so personal that they won't make sense to anyone else. Still, I think, there are some objective (share-able) reasons I can say yesterday was great day at my church.
- It seemed like people got it. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, after His death for our sin is at the very heart of Bible truth. It merits some excitement. It deserves our best effort. It is worth celebrating. In his marvelous text of Theology, the Letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul connects the power of the Resurrection, with our new life after our "dead-in-trespasses-and sin" past (here). In his extended treatise on the Resurrection, Paul says that if the Resurrection of Christ is not a reality "we are of all men most to be pitied" (here).
It was a great day at Covington Bible Church because from those who mowed the grass, to those who shared music, to those who invited a friend, to those who showed up even though their old bones ache, to those who set up extra chairs praying for that chair's occupant as they put it in place, my sisters and brothers in Christ said, "The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive! I can be saved in Him. That is worth celebrating."
- There was a refreshing unity of spirit. I mentioned some of the kinds of contributions that were made to make our Easter service the highly encouraging time that it was, so I won't repeat myself. Instead I'll tell you a brief anecdote. One of my preacher-buddies told me last week that he had run into a member of CBC. She is not an upfront person. She is the kind of person about whom you might ask, "Was ___ there?" and to answer you have to think hard. Anyhow, my friend reported this lady's excitement about the upcoming Easter service. Part of her excitement was the part she was playing in our big day. She was pumped that her church was celebrating her Lord's victory over death, and she was looking forward to having a part in that celebration. I saw and heard that in many lives.
The fact that the chairs in the Worship-Center were mended, and the flower beds mulched was very important, but the reality that the hearts of those who spread mulch, shined floors, sewed upholstery, and a score of other projects were turned to the Lord in worship was of eternal significance.
- There was clear evidence of God's blessing.
We had prayed for over a particular number to be with us Sunday. Like the man who carried an umbrella when he met with drought-stricken farmers to pray for rain, we prepared for God to answer. He did. I know that some of the folk whose hands I shook were there because God had worked in their lives. The closing of the service indicated that God was at work in hearts. I was personally aware of God making me able. I'm thankful that He allowed me to share His Story. I hope this blog post is indication that He was/is at work in my heart. Yesterday was one more part of a long-term restoration that has been going on in my life. Thank You, Lord, and thanks to my church family.
- We saw the Resurrection, not only as an isolated event--powerful and wonderful though it may be. Because yesterday's message led us, literally from "In the beginning," to the final "Amen," we were able to see that the Resurrection is the key to a great cosmic struggle that really is no struggle at all. God's plan unfolds in some very dark ways. That darkness is at its blackest during those three hours on the cross and three days in the tomb. The Resurrection shows there never was any question. There has never been a time when God has lost control of His world. The victory of Christ over death shows that, and it shows me he can handle what is going on in my life.
The way our recording system works, or doesn't work, music doesn't turn out very out very well when we record our services, so the only thing you will find here is yesterday's message. It was a privilege to share it with my church family and their guests. If it ministers to you, it will be further reason for me to be thankful.