Everyone knows Easter Sunday is a big day on the Church calendar. Most Churches go all out when it comes to Easter. We add extra elements of drama and music, add extra decorations and lighting, and most importantly we add extra seating. For us at New Life Center, it was our biggest day since I became pastor. We had record attendance of 130 people who joined us for worship. That is nearly an 85% increase in our attendance. It was wonderful to see our Sanctuary so full. But last Sunday was not the most important day of the year. The NEXT Sunday is.
I was asking one guest on Sunday, “What made you decided to join us this morning?” They replied, “Its Easter.” That’s just the point, isn’t it? People go to church on Easter. Relatives, Friends, and even those who only come from time to time all come on Easter. A demographic study of Broken Arrow residents claims that 85% of BA residents identify themselves as Christians. However, only 35% of those who claim to be Christian are regulars in a church each week. That is an alarming statistic. On Easter, the other 65% pack our churches and give us record attendance numbers. But for some reason or another the other fifty one weeks a year those 65% find other things to do on Sundays.
Our relationship with Christ is not unlike a marriage. Most married couples go all out on their anniversary. Dinner, flowers, special romantic times and get aways make anniversaries special. But if that is the only time your marriage is cultivated, you are in trouble. The real sign of a healthy marriage is not how big the anniversary celebration is, it is how committed you are the other 364 days of the year. Like a marriage, our relationship with Christ must be cultivated on a daily and weekly basis. The Bible uses terms like “body of Christ” and “brothers and sisters” when referring to believers. These terms are relational because we need each other. The church is God’s gift to his children. It is a place we can grow, worship, pray and encourage one another. This is why the book of Hebrews admonishes us not to “neglect the assembling of ourselves together.”
I hope you were able to celebrate Jesus and his glorious resurrection on Easter. I hope you were moved by Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Mostly I hope you were stirred to commit to investing in your relationship with Him on a daily and weekly basis. I am praying that you will not miss most important Sunday of the year; the NEXT one.