Monday, April 9, 2012

Revel in the Resurrection - the "so-what?" of Easter

Celebration at the 11:00 "traditional" worship service at First Presbyterian Church of Brandon
Yesterday was an amazing Sunday, full with passion, excitement, enthusiasm, faith and promise. It was a day exactly like any other Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon.
When I say “exactly like any other Sunday,” I mean thatResurrection power is not a special occasion phenomenon around here, because the vibrant life of the risen Jesus is actually coded into our DNA. 
Real life and light and peace
PUNCH: Sure, Easter Sunday has an extra punch. It’s what happens when over 600 people show up instead of the usual 400. But, while there were 28 in the Praise Band, for example – only three were guest musicians. The fundamental spirit of worship at First Presbyterian was same as always. This place rocks all the time; that is the “So-what?” of Easter.
Today – the day after Easter – is the bottom-line point of my REACHING TOWARD EASTER study. The 47 days of preparation leading up to yesterday’s celebration had the common thread of making sure we laid out a devotional trajectory through Lent that guaranteed we would arrive at Easter having already been somewhere with Jesus.
Easter lily
A BEGINNING: I didn’t conclude the book with Resurrection Day because Easter as a conclusion is poor theology. Easter as a new beginning is something else entirely.
An Easter Sunday that means anything at all must set up an Easter Monday – and beyond – that is transformational. In defeating death, Jesus pushed open a previously unbreached doorway. Now it is up to us to walk through.
INVITATION: My invitation for all of us today is to live as if Jesus really did:
  • Defeat death
  • Sideline purposelessness
  • Establish a kingdom he invites us to occupy NOW
  • Light a fire that can never be extinguished
  • Place a light resident within us that will ALWAYS overcome darkness
  • Offer meaning and purpose in place of disillusionment and defeat
  • Let us loose as “Eighth-Day Believers” and conscious participants in the Second Week of Creation.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light – 1 Peter 2:9
Benediction: We are the so-what of Easter!
We are redeemed people! Resurrected, restored, rejuvenated, rescued and renewed. For 49 deliberate days, we have been reaching toward Easter. Now it’s time to revel in the resurrection!

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