I did the most spiritual thing I have ever done on Good Friday this year. Before I tell you what I did I should tell you what I usually do.
I have always hated how Protestants, in my case Pentecostals run their Good Friday services. They are usually very happy and joyous. I’ve never been to a funeral like it actually. I’ve always felt like we missed the point by having a lavish exciting service. Sure the music specials are often the best of the year but to me I felt like something was off. So I started attending an Anglican service on Good Friday’s. It’s somber, and reflective. The Rector speaks about sin and our lives. In the two hours of “up and down’s” I found myself reflecting, honoring and mourning my Lord’s death. It’s actually been a highlight in my church calendar year.
But this year I did something even more spiritual. I woke up, showered and got dressed. I was ready to go to my Anglican service. Man I’m spiritual. You can tell that by my desire to attend a minimalist orthodox service. I came downstairs to see my family in the living room. I sat down to hang out with the boys for a little before I went off to be spiritual. Then it hit me. Why am I leaving my family to be spiritual. I rarely get time to just be with my wife and boys. So I decided right then and there that on this good Friday I was going to build the Kingdom closest to me. My boys. So instead of church, Noah and I went on a 1 hour walk to 7/11. We talked and laughed and held each other’s hand as we walked. Once we arrived I let him pick whatever he wanted. It was the most spiritual thing I believe I have ever done. (not letting him pick whatever he wants. spending time with him) I have come to realize that if I want to build the Kingdom of God I should probably start in my own house. And the only way I can do that is by having kids that love me, want to be with me and will let me speak into their life. You don’t get this in my opinion without sweat equity.
I wanted to share that story to segway into my real idea. Easter. I have to admit I was a little sketched out this year when I did attend church. everyone was so passionate when the Pastor said “He has Risen”. So?.
See, there is nothing more important to me than my family, faith and church. But I saw something in myself and our church this weekend that bothered me. What I saw was Easter is one day a year.
It’s Thursday now. What has Easter done for you today? He’s still Risen. Have you lived like He is?
I lead worship at both services this weekend. And I’ve really been on a Holy Spirit kick. I got this picture as I worshipped of a car. The car was the Holy Spirit. As Pentecostal’s we focused so much on the features of the Holy Spirit. The great stereo system, or the power everything. I felt like God said to me, you forgot that the point of the car is to get you from point A to B. Sure there are perks to the car, but if you only sit in the car and listen to the stereo you don’t end up anywhere different then when you sat in. Prophecy is great, but how much better is the Holy Spirit’s ability to renew your mind to live better, less selfish lives. We all want to be better us’ don’t we?
So I ask again. What has Easter done for you today? Or another way of saying it has Christ’s death and resurrection guided your decisions and actions today?
I remember one of the first classes I ever attended in Bible School at CPC. The professor asked us what we thought made a great Pastor. One girl put up her hand and said “I like when they don’t make us feel bad about ourselves.” That never sat right with me. I didn’t really think about it again until the last few weeks. I think we can all admit that if we feel bad about something the Pastor has said (assuming he is being biblical) we need to check ourselves, potentially repent (not ask for forgiveness) and renew our minds.
We need to call a spade a spade. I told our church on Saturday that we are useless. My dad/Pastor had just finished saying we are good people. I pointed out to the church that I didn’t have to be politically correct and nice. The truth is folks that if we were good people there would be no need for the Holy Spirit to “renew” our minds. If our minds were great, and our desires were pure we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit. But we do, and we do because on our own we are useless to the Kingdom for Kingdom growth purposes.
The Holy Spirit is here to give us an Abundant life. How many of you feel abundantly passionate? How many of you feel abundantly loved? How many of us feel abundantly driven to see the Kingdom grow or to see our church increase in every aspect? I don’t, but I want to.
This Easter I looked at myself and my church/christian life. I realized I do to Jesus what Tiger Woods has done to Elin. I come home every Sunday to be with my family. I worship and adore Jesus. I tithe and love. Then the beginning of the week hits and I start attended to my other “lords”. Don’t take the title wrong. I’m in no way saying Jesus is like Elin Woods. I’m saying I treat Jesus like Tiger treated Elin.
This year is going to be different. I want Jesus to be my bride always. I want Jesus to be Lord in my life. In everything. That’s what Lord means. I’m reading a book called ReJesus. It’s all about how we see Jesus and are affected by what we see.
I want Jesus to be Lord of my life. Not just Lord of my Easter weekend. I want to be faithful to him, not him and the other 14 I’ve kept as priorities. Lee Camp said ” ‘Jesus is Lord’ is a radical claim, one that is ultimately rooted in questions of allegiance, of ultimate authority, of the ultimate norm and standard for human life. Instead, Christianity has often sought to ally itself comfortably with allegiance to other authorities, be they political, economic, cultural, or ethnic.”
This is what I see in myself and I was railroaded by its truth when I tried to worship one of my Brides on a very important weekend. If Jesus is Lord what are all the other things in my life?
Let’s repent together! Let’s make Jesus our Lord, and only Bride. See if we aren’t constantly allowing the Holy Spirit to renew our minds from our sinful nature and desires. Live by the Spirit. Remember Galatians 5:16-26? If we don’t seek the Spirit we will only continue to make Jesus our Elin Woods. If that’s the case what’s the point of Easter.
Cheers friends. I hope this note finds you well. I’ve attached a song I wrote with my wife called Forever It fits both the Easter song and the prayer of my heart lately. You can check out our website as well. http://www.addisonworship.com