Greetings from the post-Easter haze that covers many of us who put so much into last weeks wonderful and impactful worship and celebration of all God has done for us through Jesus and continues to do today! Unfortunately, there is a tendency in the life of churches to drop off a little and begin losing momentum after Easter going into the Summer. In fact, the Sunday after Easter tends to be one of the lowest attended Sunday's of the year. I believe us preachers are very much to blame for this "coasting" after Easter. I suspect the Sunday after Easter has the greatest number of guest preachers in pulpits than any other Sunday of the year.
This Sunday (April 9th) I preached on the last passage in Matthew following the Resurrection account. In this passage disciples have just been through some very tumultuous days emotionally and physically to say the least. They went from watching their friend and Lord being paraded through the streets and crucified on a cross to discovering an empty tomb then finally coming face to feet with Jesus after He rose from the dead. I suspect they were exhausted in every way possible. After all of this, Jesus gathered them in Galilee and let them know clearly that Easter was not the end it was the beginning of God's plan to make known to all the world that reconciliation with God through Jesus was now possible as well as true reconciliation with each other. Not only that, Jesus let them know He would be doing this through them.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...
Whether it be because of a busy Easter week, the rebuilding of our sanctuary, or the personal events and circumstances of our own lives; I'm sure the thought of moving forward boldly as a congregation to reach more people from downtown and beyond makes you as tired thinking about as it does me. I notice that Jesus as this point doesn't have tell his disciples how they are going to do these things. Honestly while I have some ideas, I don't know how Jesus is going to use us to reach people close to us who don't know Him. Jesus does tell them the most important thing,
Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
If you are at a point where you feel like you need to pull back and let others fullfil the mission of Jesus in your place, hear the words of Jesus sending his disciples into the world. I can promise you even though the mission Jesus is sending us on can be exhausting and unpredictable, it will be life giving and exciting because it is the best way for us to experience the power of the Risen Christ in us!