This Easter at Chapel Hill was incredible. Regardless of the service you attended, we were transported back 2000 years—back to a garden tomb in the early morning shadows, listening to the incredible news that Jesus is alive.
Honestly, I’m always a little surprised at the response of those first witnesses to the resurrection. You’d think that all of the Jesus-followers would be giddy blabber-mouths; boldly and joyfully spreading the news that Jesus, the miracle-worker, was now a walking, talking miracle himself: the Resurrected One! You’d think it would be one big, happy party.
But when you read the gospels you discover that even one week later, the disciples are still afraid, still uncertain, still meeting behind closed doors. In fact, as we will see this weekend, the close to Mark’s gospel is downright abrupt—and a little shocking.
But that’s ok. Jesus is patient. He just keeps showing up, keeps drawing near, keeps reassuring—and soon, those who were initially “seized” by trembling and astonishment were “seized” by the power of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming with their lives and with their mouths the incredible news that Jesus of Nazareth was the Lord—even over death!
Over the Easter weekend, 71 people raised their hands saying they longed for a deeper experience of the Holy Spirit. Twenty-five turned in a card saying they had given their lives to Christ. This is wonderful and to be celebrated. But it is only the first step in our journey. What’s next?
Well—our next step is the same as that of New Testament believers: baptism. This weekend is baptism weekend. Once again we will go a little crazy with the water. (I’ll bet you didn’t know the Presbyterians can dunk, too!) If you have never been baptized, it’s not too late to come to the water. You will have the opportunity in the service to profess your faith to an elder and then, I’ll be HAPPY to take you under!
Then comes Alpha. Alpha is a wonderful and safe place to ask questions about life, faith, God and this Jesus that we talk so much about. Last Wednesday, we had well over 100 people who showed up for the first night of Alpha. It’s not too late to join in the fun! Find out more and plan to come to the next Alpha session!
God has chosen to entrust new believers to our care. Aren’t you grateful—and excited to be a part of a growing church. I look forward to being with you this weekend as we ALL take our next steps toward the Resurrected Jesus!