Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Impact!

Easter is THIS Sunday. It hardly seems possible. We have been planning for months and the time has finally arrived. We begin a new message series this weekend called "Desperate Households." The message for this Sunday is "Desperate for Hope." Every human being longs for something more and seeks hope that the struggles they face can ultimately be overcome. This Sunday will be a day filled with hope for all of our families. Easter is a day of hope. Here is how Eugene Peterson paraphrased some of Paul's profound words in 1 Corinthians 15:

If there is no resurrection, there's no living Christ. And fact it - if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors... If corpses can't be raised, then Christ wasn't, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ wasn't raised, then all you're doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It's even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they are already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

But God doesn't just resurrect bodies, he resurrects lives. He resurrects relationships. He resurrects families. The power of Easter is available for us NOW. We are Easter people. We are people with a living hope. That hope will be the foundation of our experience this Sunday at our 9:00 and 11:00 gatherings. We expect our campus to be buzzing with hundreds of people, some coming for the very first time.

Please come this Sunday with the intent of reaching out to new people. Even if the service really rings a bell for them (and we pray that it will), the most important impression will be the one you make. The most important word will be the one that you speak. Please continue to pray for "divine opportunities" to invite family and friends that are far from God. Eighty-two percent of those who are invited to church by someone they already know will say yes. Your gracious words could be catalytic in changing someone's life now and forever. I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do as we gather in His name to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.

"He is risen. He is risen, indeed!"