When the Big Event is Over

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Vital Men Devotions

When I was a youth pastor we would hold a middle school lock-in every year that grew into a major outreach event. Over 100 6-8th graders would show up at our church at 4PM for 16 straight hours of games, food, worship, a trip to an indoor waterpark, inflatables, and more. Now, obviously an all night event with that many Mt. Dew drinking middle schoolers necessitated an army of volunteers, with about 20 needed per two-hour shift. Because our congregation bought into the vision of the night, reaching a generation for Christ, we always quickly filled up every shift but one: the cleanup shift. Yes, we could find adults willing to supervise jousting pits and dodge ball tournaments from 2am-4am, but about the only people that would ever sign-up for cleanup was the janitor, her family, and those who felt too guilty to say no. When you really think about it, I can certainly see why everyone avoided that shift. Everyone wants to be part of the action and excitement, but few want to stay after the fun is over to deal with the messy and difficult aftermath.

I see a parallel with the church and Easter. On Easter Sunday we seem to have no trouble finding volunteers and filling the pews/seats like never before. Its an electric atmosphere, and everyone walks away happy. Yet, what do we do after Easter? What do we really do with the good news that Jesus died and rose again so that we may live forever? Most of us celebrate that day, then simply go back to our routine on Monday morning, living no differently then before. Our churches go back to “normal,” with numbers drastically falling off and our weekly effort declining precipitously.

Juxtapose that with the reaction of the Disciples after Easter. After Jesus’ ascension the Disciples famously gathered in an upper room to decide who would replace Judas {Acts 1:12-26}. Their task that night was really more then the selection of a twelfth disciple, but a decision to spread Jesus’ message to the ends of the Earth. The disciples decided that night to continue the mission, and ten days later Peter preaches a sermon in the middle of Jerusalem that leads to 3,000 accepting Christ {Acts 2:14-41}. The disciples took the good news of Easter and acted on it, ensuring that the first Easter would be known by just a few, but would be spread to billions. 

I pray that this Easter may spur us to similar action. Lets invite those who attended our churches this Sunday to come back next week. Lets share our excitement and passion with our friends and neighbors. Lets make changes in our lives to live more for Christ then for ourselves. Like the disciples in that upper room let us decide to go all in for Christ, serving on a “cleanup” crew after the big event that greatly improves our world.

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