Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25
I know, it seems like an eternity since Easter Sunday, but it was just seven days ago. Thinking about it, logic would suggest every church in America should be full again – especially given the fact that last week was so overwhelmingly wonderful, charged with life, and saturated with joy. But instead the opposite happens, and worship services this weekend typically yield the lowest attendance numbers of the year.
That’s why I was so pleased to overhear the following conversation at our church one Easter Sunday:
Church member to visiting family: “Happy Easter! It was great to see you this morning.”
Visitor: “Thanks. The whole family really enjoyed it. If church was always like this we’d come every week!”
Another young family overheard the conversation and chimed in: “But church here is like this every week! It’s not just Easter, we’re excited about following Jesus all the time!”
Yet off we go, shoving Jesus back inside the tomb so he won’t cramp our style too much. And we persist in our pre-resurrection lives:
- As if the priorities the world tells us to value are somehow more compelling than gathering with other believers to worship the risen Christ!
- As if setting aside an hour for worship couldn’t possibly compete with that other stuff we have going on.
- As if the opportunity to cultivate a restored relationship with Creator God is a casual, take-it or leave-it proposition – like wondering if our lifestyle has room for a new puppy, or deciding whether or not to commit to family membership at the club!
And the crowds who – for a moment – came so close to it all drift away from this amazing invitation to become resurrection people. Yet still, curious, they wonder why this empty feeling gnaws away at their souls?
This is the life you’ve always wanted!
I can’t tell you how many people ask me and Rebekah about our rich, meaningful journey, about the fact that we enjoy our life together so much, and about how we are always so positive when it comes to doing ministry and doing church – and the answer is simple: “This is the life you’ve always wanted! It’s all about living faith out loud, about following Jesus, about moving forward with commitment and passion and purpose.”
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
True life. Real life. The life you’ve always wanted. That’s what we’re up to at WFPC this Sunday morning. – DEREK