This is the day after Easter.
As I sit in my usual chair at Starbucks, on my second refill, I’d like to share a few Easter reflections with you. In no particular order, sort of like my sock drawer.
- The message of Easter never gets old. As one of my preaching friends (@collinpacker) said, “If you can’t preach on Easter, you can’t preach.” In other words, there is no need to create a clever sermon — just tell the Easter story. Letting people know that God still raises the dead is the most hopeful message I know of. That alone should be enough to get a preacher fired up.
- We have a great team of volunteers. On Easter weekend, our normal attendance doubles. This means twice as many kids, twice as many communion cups, greeters, cars, trash bags, programs, etc. Many of the people who come to an Easter service may not be aware of all the effort it takes to have a smooth and meaningful experience. But I am. I watched people step and serve, not because they had to but because they wanted to. I saw people who were excited about God and proud of their church. What was really cool was to see a large number of Easter volunteers who have only been at Mountainview for a few months.
- We have a great staff. If you are familiar with Mountainview, you know that we’ve been through a rough spell over the last six months. We hit economic hard times in 2012 and had to reduce our staff. As a result, we have had to ask our remaining staff to take on more work and bear a greater load of responsibility. And they have done so in an amazing way. What I hear often in the hallway or in my office is, “What can I do to help?”
- Our mission matters. One of the most encouraging aspects of this past weekend was the opportunity to have members introduce me to friends they brought to church. It was fun to watch the excitement on their face. Many of them arrived 10-15 minutes early to make sure they would be there when their friends arrived. And they sat together. Sang together. The most humbling aspect of this is to realize that they trusted us, their church, with their friends. They brought them because they felt confident they wouldn’t be embarrassed. But most of all, they brought their friends because they wanted their friends to meet Jesus.
- We have a great God. Words are inadequate, even from a preacher, to describe the greatness of our God. He creates the universe, moves around the stars, raises the dead, and loves people like you and me. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense. Why would such a God stoop to our level? The amazing answer is: because he wants to. That is a great God indeed.