Preachers love Easter. Yes, this time of the year often gets busier than other times of the year. Yes, there are all sorts of special services that require additional preparation. Yes, you have a lot more things you have to keep straight in your mind. But… and for preachers this is what stands head and shoulders over all the challenges that surround Easter… you have the privilege of declaring the glorious good news that Christ is alive. The cross could not silence him; the grave could not contain him; and death was forced to surrender to life.
I hope you love Easter too! I hope you love it because it means we have hope. No matter what our situation in life, no matter how difficult our circumstances, no matter the challenges we may be facing; Easter reminds us that beyond every cross there is the hope of a resurrection.
I hope you love Easter because it means that sin is not the final word. All of us can reflect on our lives and see mistakes we have made, relationships that have suffered because of something we have said or done, and the brokenness we have experienced when we have chosen our own way over God’s way. Yet, Easter is a reminder that the same sin that put Christ on the cross was defeated by the love that raised him from the dead; and that same love is available to you and me.
I hope you love Easter because it stands as a symbol for all time that death is not an end. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have stood with people in a cemetery or shared with them during a memorial service. I cannot imagine how different these experiences would have been had there been no Easter. However, because of Easter, I have been able to look them in the eye and tell them with confidence that this is not the end of their loved one… that beyond the grave lay an eternal life that is more wonderful than anything we could ever imagine.
And then too, I hope you love Easter for the same reason preachers love Easter. You too, get to declare to others the glorious good news that Christ is alive.
Each year at Easter, between 3,000 – 4,000 people walk through the doors of this church. Many are either people who are coming for the very first time, or who have not been to church in a while. By the gracious way you speak to them, by the loving way you offer to extend a helping hand, by the kind way you help guests find their way around, by the radical way you offer hospitality, you are declaring the good news that is at the very heart of Easter.
I love Easter – and I can’t wait to see you!