Artwork by Brockton MA Assembly of God
BY DR. STEVE DUNN
Today was Easter. The church where I currently serve as Intentional Interim Senior Pastor had a magnificent service. Powerful and heart-stirring music, congregational voices raised in glorious praise. Thought-provoking and compelling videos. A delightful children’s message. Earnest prayers and hopefully, an inspiring message from the pulpit. A packed house (for us) with some fresh faces from the community and genuine, lingering fellowship. Truly a day to remember.
But sitting at my computer on Easter Sunday night, I find myself with a nagging thought. Will what happened today as the church gathered make a difference tomorrow when it is scattered out into the world? Will our encounter with the celebration of God’s Resurrection Power cause us to live by that power on Monday? Will the reminder that we have passed from death to life make us more fully alive this next day?
Or will the church, which often limps along on human power, vision limited by the doable and shackled by past missed opportunities—will we be that church once again? Will our sinfulness although forgiven once again reclaim our earthbound minds and set us on the low road of under-effectiveness instead of the high road made possible by the game-changing empty tomb of nearly 2000 years ago? Will be salt and light as Jesus intended?
If we truly believe what we confessed earlier today—we will make a difference. We will take front and center in proclaiming the hope purchased by the Cross and confirmed by the Empty Tomb. As George Macleod wrote long ago:
“I simply argue that the cross be raised again,
at the centre of the marketplace
as well as on the steeple of the church.
I am recovering the claim that
Jesus was not crucified
in a cathedral between two candles
but on a cross between two thieves;
on a town garbage heap;
at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan
that they had to write His title
in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek …
and at the kind of place
where cynics talk smut,
and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble.
Because that is where He died,
And that is what He died about.
And that is where Christ’s own ought to be,
And that is what church people ought to be about.”
Did the celebration of the Resurrection make a difference? Tomorrow will tell.
© 2018 by Stephen L. Dunn. You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org