This weekend is the single biggest weekend in the church calendar. It is the culmination of what Christians believe, and the event is celebrated around the world. It is the Super Bowl of the church, and the week prior is like the playoffs.
What I love most about this season is that so many people are all supporting the same thing. This seems like the only week of the year where everyone just wants to get someone to church, or where people are asking what someone’s plans are for Easter. Easter feels exciting, and on Easter Sunday all the churches around the world care about the same thing.
This year, for the first time, the pastors in my clergy cluster (think professional development group) decided to team up and help share the message of what it means to die to self so that Christ can be strengthened in our hearts. We celebrated this on the Thursday prior to Easter and it was a beautiful service with a common cause. There were close to 350 in attendance, and over 3,500 dollars was raised to support urban ministry in the heart of Dayton.
It was an amazing night. And the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that the Kingdom of God has to look more like we did that evening than what we normally do on Sunday morning. Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in the country. Sunday morning still has churches competing against each other rather than working in unison. A lot of Sunday mornings still have churches struggling to remember why they do this in the first place.
Easter reminds us that we are all in this together, that it isn’t really about Centerville United Methodist Church. Rather, it is about the Kingdom of God- the larger picture of what the church could look like in the world. In some sense, Easter reminds us that our individual Sunday morning experience really doesn’t matter. Rather, the celebration of the larger church through Christ, is the reason we do the whole thing.
I just wonder: How can the church make every Sunday feel as united as Easter?