Thursday, April 21, 2011

EASTER: Part One by Pastor Phil Schaefer (4/20/2011)

I bumped into a fellow pastor and old friend, Bill Yarborough, yesterday. Bill and I have known each other for nearly 20 years, first as a missionary in Mexico and later through his moving to St. Louis. Bill asked me, "Are you preparing for Easter? It's only the single most significant event in the history of all creation." And being my friend, he added, "Don't blow it."  

I was in fact preparing for Easter, and as I thought about the possibility of 'blowing it' I thought, the only way one could blow Easter is by treating it like any other day. I could blow it by being so consumed with my work week that I don't have time to think about Easter. I could blow it by treating this weekend like it was any other weekend - run errands, attend soccer games, mow the lawn, go to church, take a nap on Sunday...whatever your routine is.

So, here is the purpose of this e-mail: don't let Easter pass you by. Don't let this world so consume your mind and energy and time that you don't have time to think about what Easter is all about. Don't just leave it to the guys who put together the Sunday service to give you an Easter buzz. Don't just take Easter as another thing on your 'to do' list and check it off. Busy-ness, distractions, lack of energy, and not feeling spiritual are this world's means to get our attention off Easter and on to the things of this life. Don't go there!

Make some time. Carve out an hour (or half-hour) today, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Read, re-read and meditate on the death and resurrection of our Savior, Lord, and God. Even if you find your mind unsettled as you make some time, I promise that you will get a benefit and that the Holy Spirit will honor and use your few hours of prayer and meditation.

On the night that He was betrayed Jesus prayed while his disciples slept - too full from their meal, too unaware of the significance of that moment. The single most significant event in all of creation history and they slept. They slept because they did not know. I confess, I've been busy and distracted these days. I have been trying to get things together for Easter, for company, for home improvements, for lawn care. But more important than my schedule, I am asking myself if I am willing to spend time with the Lord, to commune and meditate on Christianity's most significant message: "He is risen just as he said."  

We are gathering for prayer and worship and reflection and communion on Friday evening from 7:00-9:00. That is an excellent time to be with the Lord. That time will be good for your soul. There will be child care for those who need it. But don't just do that one thing. Make an hour today and tomorrow. Trade babysitting with a friend. Sit in your car during your lunch hour and pray and read. Write down your thoughts - whatever they may be. Those thoughts may seem relevant or completely irrelevant, but God can take the least thing and bring it to life.

Don't let Easter pass you by. 

Soli Deo Gloria
(to God alone be glory)
Pastor Phil

Christian Fellowship Church
4600 Christian Fellowship Road
Columbia, MO 65203

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