is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he
lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead,
and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Matthew 28
We recently received a promotion for material
promising to help churches have a bigger better Easter. Eager to embrace such a possibility I quickly
clicked on the link to download the free guide.
Imagine my disappointment to discover I’d been directed to a blank white
screen. I immediately replied to the
email to explain the situation noting my amazement that anything could be
bigger and better than God raising Jesus from the dead to redeem the entire
I received a nice response
from Betty who gave me another link that did work, and said my comment made her
smile. Betty and I have a connection
Then I discovered that to get the
guide I’d have to provide my name and number and how many people worship here
on a Sunday.
At that point I lost interest in a bigger and
better Easter and steeled myself for the smaller and inferior Easter to which
I’d grown accustomed. You know, the one
where people gather in congregations great and small to sing the Easter Hymn,
light the fire, get doused in the water, share the bread and cup, pray and
celebrate and weep together, hold each other in love, and go out to feed the
hungry, put pencils in the hands of needy students, and offer welcoming
hospitality to the stranger? That one.
Oh I get it. Big churches want to get bigger and small
churches want to grow. There are
strategies to help us succeed in those goals.
We appreciate Betty’s help to fulfill our mission. I also received an email offering a FREE
GUIDE outlining “6 Easy Steps to Turn Easter Visitors into Engaged
Another subject line asked
convincingly, “Will people feel welcome at your church
this Easter?” And continued: Nurturing a sense of belonging in your
church. Call Us: 800-675-7430. Visit Our Website. Read Online.
Vanco Payment Solutions. Vanco's
guide to nurturing a sense of belonging in your church this Easter.
All these things can be helpful, in the
same way the printing press greased the gears of the Protestant
Reformation. But the resurrection of
Jesus is not an opportunity to be seized, even for noble purposes. It’s a cosmic game changer. A universe tilting event. A truth to be cherished.
What’s important about Jesus’
resurrection is that it opens the door, paves the way, to a new quality of
life. What’s important is that Jesus
challenged hate with love, power with vulnerability, rage with peace, and he
won. It won.
As Rob Bell put it succinctly, “love wins.”
I don’t know if our Easter will be
bigger and better, or visitors will become engaged members, or even feel
welcome. None of that changes the
central affirmation: He has been raised from the dead, and indeed
he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.