Sunday was a big day, Easter. We had double our usual attendance in our worship service. I spoke with a couple of other people about their worship and they said the same. Churches were full. We make a big deal out of this day, and rightly so. We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. The atonement has been made for the sins of all people on Good Friday. Now, with Jesus coming forth from the tomb the power of death has been broken. Yes, we rightly celebrate this day for all our Lord has graciously done for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. But if all this is true, and we expend a lot of effort declaring that it is, it cannot be contained in one day a year. This is a truth that affects every moment of life. It is a truth that is to be lived out in thought, word, and deed. So, this is Monday morning of a new week. We celebrate just as much today as we did yesterday. Give some thought to how you can share this truth through your life to the parts of the greater congregation you will meet today.
We had a great worship service yesterday. There were shouts of “He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!” Much praise and great music to God’s glory. But today is Monday. For most the work week begins again. Back to the routine, facing all of the trials and challenges that are a part of it. That is just the point of all of yesterday’s shouting. Jesus is alive! He is alive on Monday as He was on Sunday. Our shouting doesn’t bring Him to life on one day of the year. It proclaims the truth of the incarnation. The living God is with us. In the events we celebrated during Holy Week and Easter we proclaimed the truth that the Living God has redeemed us from the power of sin giving us a new life and hope. Emmanuel, God with us, is not a truth that can be confined to one day a year, but is for all of our Mondays and the days to follow. That is what yesterday was all about. We give our Living God praise yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus is alive!
Yesterday we began our worship service with the shout, “Jesus is Alive! Hallelujah!” And then immediately began with our first hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today. It is always a joyous opening to our Easter worship, but what does it mean? What does it mean to say that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive? I can’t see Him today. I can’t put my finger into the nail print in His hand as He invited Thomas to do. Even so, because that grave in Jerusalem was opened, of which there is ample historical evidence; because there were numerous eye witness account of meeting Jesus after His resurrection; and because all of the Apostles, except for John, died a martyrs death testifying to the truth of the resurrection, the fact of Jesus being alive is undeniable. Further, it testifies to the truth that there is a very real realm of life beyond what we see with our eyes and apprehend with our five senses. Jesus Christ is alive. Through faith in Him we are even now a part of that real realm of life called God’s Kingdom. This is not a hope only for our time of death, but a truth in which we daily walk. Jesus Christ is alive! Hallelujah!
We had wonderful celebrations at church yesterday. Attendance was high. Several additional hymns and special music gave praise to our Lord. The spoken word told again of the Easter Sunday event, and sharing the Holy Eucharist was the high point of the service. All of it together proclaimed the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I began the service with the shout, “Jesus Christ is alive! Hallelujah!” However, with all of this declaration, and beauty in song and spoken word, it is not really yesterday that matters. This is Monday, a holiday for many, but the beginning of a normal week. Back to the routine of life. It is today, and tomorrow, and the next in which the proclamation “Jesus is alive!” really matters. It is the risen Lord Jesus who said, “I am with you to the close of the age,” and the declaration “I will never leave or forsake you.” For us, Easter is not one day, but every day. We begin each morning with the shout, “Jesus Christ is alive!” He is the true strength and joy of life.