Thursday, April 4, 2013

The party goes on.

Here are five post-resurrection practices for those who follow Jesus.

Last Sunday’s worship services felt like a big party, a celebration.  We had great attendance, uplifting music, and what felt like a family reunion with people we hadn’t seen in awhile.
But is the party over? Easter Sunday is gone and so we go back to business as usual until Easter Sunday, 2014? I hope not.

Post –resurrection accounts in the gospels, show Jesus appearing in various places and at odd times, with small and large groups of people. Jesus didn’t want his followers to have a letdown.

Luke puts it this way, after his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

Paul, to the Corinthian Church: Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me (I Corinthians 15: 6-8).

First century and twenty first century disciples face the temptation of going back to business as usual. Now that Easter is past we are tempted to go back and fish, surf the internet, make money, live with fear, hate and anger; think about number one, huddle in rooms and reminisce about the past and attend church next on Christmas Eve.

But the resurrection of Jesus is a game changer. A shift. A new reality. The party does not stop. We are a resurrection people. The first day of every week is an opportunity to renew ourselves in the presence of our living, reigning Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are a few ways to refresh ourselves in Christ:
Prayer: Jesus is alive so we live with a new dimension of spiritual strength and courage.
Reconciliation: Jesus is alive. We deal with our conflicts with deeper levels of love, patience and hope.
Jesus First: Christ reigns. He is king. What he wants for our lives is more important than what we want. He tells us what to do and we obey.
Mission: As resurrection people we have kingdom work to do. Heal the sick, feed the poor, share the gospel with lost people, and actively engage the powers of darkness.
Worship: Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, Christ is with us on Sundays but through every moment of every day. Worship is more than what we do at 9am and 11:15. I am worshiping Christ as I write these words at 5:00am in my study!
The same joy that filled us up last weekend is available this weekend. With delight and desire, come celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday. Jesus is alive!