Monday, May 1, 2017
Easter After Easter After Easter...
I’ve been thinking about Easter since Easter.
A story from my friend Eric comes to mind.
Peter greets three people as they approach the gates to heaven.
He says they can enter if they can answer one simple question: “What is Easter?”
One says, “Oh, that’s easy! It’s the holiday in November when everyone gets together, eats turkey, watches the Bears or Packers play somebody, and we’re all really thankful.”
The second person says, “Easter is the holiday in December when we put up a nice tree, exchange presents, act nice to each other, and celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.”
The third person says, “Easter is the holiday that is something of a fulfilled Passover. Jesus and His disciples were observing Passover and then Jesus talked about Himself as the Passover lamb and then He was turned over to the Romans by one of His friends. The Romans decided to crucify Him. So they mocked Him, beat Him, made Him wear a crown of thorns, and then pounded nails through His hands and on to the cross. Then He was buried in a nearby cave which was sealed by a big stone.”
Smiling broadly, Peter says, “That’s great! Go on!”
“Well,” the person continues, “every year the big stone is moved aside so Jesus can come out; and if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.”
Can you say Watters’ World?
I’m always glad to see so many folks show up in church on Easter Day.
O.K., I don’t know many of ‘em; but it’s great to see ‘em.
Maybe, like the parable of the sower, something said about Someone may hit paydirt and, ya know, they’ll be a little more regular between C&E.
Yet, truly, I’m glad to see ‘em.
God loves ‘em; so sooooooo must we in a John 3 kinda way.
I’ll make a confession.
My least favorite time of the year is the first Sunday after Thanksgiving until the first Monday after Easter.
It’s not that I don’t, uh, like Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter; and, awesomely, this past Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Day were off the charts with praise to God and thanks to Bev, Mona, Karen, Alive Choir, sound crew, local pastors who love Jesus by the book, and you!
It’s just that there’s so much, uh, drama around those seasons.
My counseling load goes through the ceiling; because people are so excited with such high expectations of sugar and spice and everything nice that…
Well, I think you know what I mean; because if you’re like me, you’ve got those same expectations.
Truth is it doesn’t always happen that way.
Truth is there’s always somebody, uh, uh, uh, trying to ruin our parades.
I recall the crank who said she wanted me to stop saying I’m “psyched” about life and ministry on the corner of Lincoln and Main. She wanted everybody to be as cranky and non-Galatians 5:22 ff. as her. As we’ve become happier and know it because we’re knowing Him better and better, light exposes darkness more clearly!
You know what I mean; and if not, I praise the Lord that you’ve been spared!
So after the tinsel and Moravian Star and eggnog and Santa and manger scene and bonnets, baskets, bunnies, and all of the rest are stored away for next year between the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and first Monday after Easter, the only thing that’s really important is…
For as we recall in the book that’s about Him, that/this is what it’s all about anyway for every day forever and ever and ever.
I know you’ve read and heard it many times over; but it’s all about Jesus as so clearly, concisely, and conclusively summarized in John 3:16-21.
When we know that/Him, nothing nor no one can separate us from the joy of every day; even those days from the first Sunday after Thanksgiving until the first Monday after Easter.
So we’re happy on Easter Day.
Not because Easter Monday is hours away.
We’re happy because Jesus is Lord.
We’re happy because Jesus is Savior.
It/He really helps on those days when…
You know what I mean; and if you don’t, call me.
Eternally better, call Him…now.
That’s/He’s when every day turns into a holiday…with heaven awaiting the rest of our days; and when we get it/Him, every day is awesome!
For as we learned with the smiley-faced balloons on Easter Day during the children’s moment in the second service – and you can still see the evidence in our sanctuary – our happiness, holiness, joy, and eternal security increase as our intimacy with Jesus increases.
Or as we said on Easter Day 2017, “This day is every day on the corner of Lincoln and Main!”
Even those days from the first Sunday after Thanksgiving to the first Monday after Easter!
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!