By our 4th Easter Sunday as a church, I'm starting to notice a pattern; intense Sunday's in which the Holy Spirit does amazing things in people's lives! Four days ago was no exception. I could just sense the energy in the sanctuary, from the opening gospel reading to the final blessing. What always happens on Easter is that someone invites an unchurched friend and God does something powerful in their lives. I'm told that one brand new person was crying through most of the service. Another new person (brought by a coworker who lives in Gardner but is a part of a different Church of the Nazarene) told me he wants to learn more about Jesus but isn't ready yet for a commitment. Of course, there are also the other Future Christ-Followers who are still checking things out who were in worship on Sunday.
What really blows me away is how the Holy Spirit works despite our screw-ups. Last Easter, we had someone taking pictures, they were great pictures and some are currently on our website. Unfortunately, the photographer was being a bit disruptive (from my point of view) and I was having trouble concentrating. I had this sense of "don't worry, if I can raise my Son from the dead, I can speak over a photographer, just watch." And during the response time, I was amazed by the response. On Christmas Sunday, we had all sorts of tech issues, some of which were caused by the weather, but I was again amazed during the response time. And this Easter, it was the same story. Some technical glitches we've never even had before happened on Easter Sunday. The perfectionist in me gets frustrated but the pastor in me realizes we're in the middle of a struggle for people's allegiances. Again, the Holy Spirit is more powerful than our mistakes. I don't mean we lower our standards, I mean we just roll with the unexpected glitches. Even stupidly forgetting to pass the Friendship Registries (which I never forget to do) can't keep us from helping people continue to take steps toward Christ, I've just got to get creative in tracking people down!
So here's Easter Sunday in a nutshell; we had a lot of people in worship, the energy was intense, people responded to the message, we had first-time unchurched guests, I dedicated my son, and THE TOMB IS STILL EMPTY! Yep, it was a good day!
CHRIST IS RISEN!