Easter Sunday is the “Superbowl Sunday” for Christians. We celebrate the fact that Jesus was who He said He was. He told everyone that He would give His life for all men (and women!), die, then rise again on the 3rd day after His death and be with the Father in Heaven until it is appointed for Him to return and gather us with Him in Heaven. Like He always does, Jesus kept His word!
We celebrate the fact that Jesus loves us all so very much He was willing to die so that we would be able to choose eternal life with God in Heaven. If ever there was a reason to celebrate, Jesus resurrection is it! I don’t know about you, but given the choice of living forever, in a perfect body, in a perfect place, given the perfect job, and being with friends and family – or burning and be tormented every second for eternity, I think the choice is clear. Yet I meet people every day who are choosing poorly. Some of these people will be the new faces you will sit by this Sunday at your local church as we worship the risen Christ. Yes they will have been “dragged there” or “forced to go”, but they are there nonetheless and Satan wants you to ignore them and act as if they were there by mistake.
Let me share a story with you of just how easy it is to turn someones life around. A friend shared this story with me and I hope you find it inspirational:
“Pastor Brad I have to share this with you as this is the first time I truly had an impact on someone else’s life and I would never have known had they not shared it with me. We were at the late Easter church service last year, and this was unusual for us as we always attended the early service so that we could spend the rest of the day with family. This year our family was going to be out of town and we overslept so we decided just to got to the late service. We arrived on time and took our seats as usual. About a minute before the worship music was to start a family of four, two young boys, a Mother and Father, sat down next to us, with the Mother sitting next to me. She threw herself into the seat with a huge and audible sigh, threw her purse on the floor, folder her arms across her chest and obviously was beginning her personal tantrum at being “dragged to Easter Services.”
As the music started everyone stood, except her of course, and we sang praise and worship songs as usual. I sang my heart out that morning as Easter is always extra emotional for me knowing what Christ had done for me and for everyone. As I sang, a few tears snuck their way out and I reached into my purse to get a tissue and made eye contact with this woman. She saw I was crying and I could tell somehow she seemed to loosen up. When the service started, we watched a video on the Passion of Jesus and then we prepared to take communion. Again, the passion moved me to tears as it always does and I again reached for a tissue and again made eye contact with the woman who now seemed to be staring at me.
The service was moving as it always is on Easter and I again cried and reached for my tissue, but this time the woman reached out her hand and she had a tissue there for me. I said “Thank You” and I held her hand for a moment as I took the tissue. The rest of the service went as normal and when it was over we began to make our way out and to our car.
In the church foyer as I was about to go out the door, this woman grabbed my arm and threw her arms around me, hugged me and started to cry herself. She looked me in the eye and told me that my gesture of holding her hand meant the world to her and proved to her that Christians were somehow “different” and she asked if we could meet for coffee sometime so that I could explain to her why we were different.
This “woman” is now one of my best friends and she has joined me in both my women’s small group as well as a personal Bible study they we hold weekly. Let me tell you Brad, there is power in the smallest gestures of kindness. A small touch, a smile, a handshake, or even just a polite nod and a “hello” is all it takes to turn someone to Christ. Never underestimate your own power to win souls for Jesus!”
WOW! I was moved to tears myself by her story. It is so true. That new face you sit by this Sunday who really doesn’t want to be there might just have been put there by God to see how you will react to them. Do NOT miss any opportunity to exhibit Jesus kindness, love, and hospitality as we greet the “yearly new faces” during tomorrows Easter Services.
Father, I pray that as we come together tomorrow to worship your Risen Son that we keep our eyes, hearts, and minds aware to those around us who are searching for you even though they might now even know it. Let us boldly embrace the opportunity to grow your church with the gifts and tools you have given us. We love you Father, and thank you more than you can know for the ultimate gift of your Son who allows us to have an eternal relationship with You. In Jesus Christ’s holy, precious name I pray, AMEN!!!
Thank you friends for allowing me to share a story that I hope resonates with you as much as it did me. Happy Easter and He Is Risen Indeed!!
Pastor Brad Komgenick