Take a chance on God using you to proclaim his good news

Published 8:40 am Friday, April 9, 2010

This Sunday, the first Sunday after the festival of Easter, has long been called Low Sunday. On the one hand that may be to contrast it with all of the high festivities of the celebration of Easter itself the week before. On the other hand it may simply have been a descriptive name for the fact that many churches will appear almost vacant following the large numbers of Easter Sunday attendees. Whatever the origins of the expression the most important thing perhaps on this Sunday is the realization that the church is still there and that by the power of God’s Spirit at work it will continue to be until the day comes when Jesus will once again appear on the earth top and claim it as God’s own.

Regularly throughout its history there have been occasions when the end of the Church has been predicted. Virtually every expression of the Christian Church has at one time or another made or not made some decision that has lead persons both within the establishment and without to suggest that it would never survive. Most of the predictions have been most premature to say the least.

Perhaps Gamiliel understood this best as he encouraged the council in Jerusalem to have caution in response to the new movement of those who proclaimed Jesus as the risen Lord. He said that if it was not of God it would disappear and if it was of God did the members of the council really want to find themselves in opposition to God’s desire. Knee-jerk reactions were no better solution in that day than they are today to the issues that might lead to conflict within the body of Christ in the world.

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Sometimes the church is called to act without consensus on an issue because it must. The life and ministry of Jesus are not the paragon of consensus building. Jesus did not ask if it was OK to bring the freeing word of God’s grace to bear upon this world and its ingrained systems and institutions. Jesus proclaimed the nearness of God’s kingdom which was totally different from the ways of this world and some people embraced it and some did not to the point of wanting him dead. Neither his supporters nor his detractors kept him from faithfully witnessing to the love and grace of God for the sake of all. More often than not it was when the institutions of the day and their leaders complained the most that Jesus was most sure that he was being faithful to the will of God.

Low Sunday or not, plan to attend your place of worship again this Sunday. Ask the Spirit to help you to discern your place in God’s greater scheme of things. Take a chance on allowing God to use you to proclaim the good news that Jesus is risen, he is risen indeed.