Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I know some of you will read the title and think the pastor is going out of his mind. If you are a football aficionado like myself, you know the Super Bowl is over and done. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle for football fanatics like myself...just like the opening of your favorite hunting season (attention turkey hunters---just a few days)...or the Masters, for your golfers. There is that One Day that is the epitome of experiences for your respective passion. For passionate Christians, our "Super Bowl" ought to be Easter. I know, some of you really, really love Christmas. It's a close second. I mean, you can't go to Myrtle Beach and shop at a year-round Easter store! We know what most people think is the most important holiday. What happened on Easter, though, is the reason we exist. Granted, you can't have Easter without Christmas...but you can't have eternal life without Easter. It's the pivotal event of all human history. So it should be the biggest celebration of the year! Our hearts should beat a little faster and our minds should race when we think of it. Take a moment and ponder what the Resurrection means for you. Jesus' resurrection was the fatal blow that destroyed Satan. Easter morning is the exclamation point on the end of God's redemptive plan for humanity. We echo Paul's thoughts in I Corinthians 15:54-55 on this day, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The one thing all people universally dread has been nullified, emptied, and deemed impotent by the One who conquered death on this day. For believers, death is just a doorway that ushers into eternal life with our resurrected savior. Death actually initiates what we will come to know as "real living" for eternity to come. When Jesus burst out of the tomb some 2,000 years ago He illustrated what we should expect will happen with us. He is the first of many who will explode out of the tomb in power. So, yes, we do have something to celebrate on Easter. The whistle is blowing, it's time for kick-off. The crowd is jumping up and down as "Zombie Nation" pulsates over the intercom. Let's celebrate this Sunday like it's supposed to be done! Who's in!?!
Monday, March 15, 2010
As with any job, some days are just plain better than others in ministry. Sadly, I find myself more or less motivated than other days...yes, I am human and not a cyborg. :) Yesterday was a perfect day in terms of ministry and church life. We had a great service in the morning. There were new faces in the crowd and people responded to the word. It was so cool to see new families that I met through the week actually visit with us and enjoy their experience. I got to preach on the cross...which never gets old! That afternoon I got to play a great game of ultimate frisbee with a group of young Good Hopers who braved the cold and the wind to play. It was a great time to hang out and catch up with some of our young people. It's fun being their pastor, too. I then turned my attention to pulling off our first, but definitely not last, Night of Worship. It was refreshing to see the level of engagement in the service. The band did a great job leading us. In the midst of that wild schedule I got to share both lunch and dinner with some young couples from our church. It was a busy, but fun day...which probably explains why I feel like I got pancaked by Julius Peppers today! I made myself hit the pavement this morning and churn out a few miles before coming in to work, which felt great. My new smaller pants are getting a little snug and I've got to get back on the workout/stricter diet plan to drop a few pounds as I head into the Spring. My children are all healthy. Brooke has started to walk, which makes me beam. She is a complete joy. I love my wonderful wife, a wonderful advisor and friend. Life is just good and balanced right now. I feel whole and healthy in most every way imaginable. Life is good. Thank you Lord for my job, my family, and my life. I delight in You and the life with which you've blessed me.
Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.