A few weeks ago, as I was preparing my Palm Sunday sermon, I thought about how the Holy Week experience for a great many Christians is to jump from the joy and exultation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the joy and exultation of resurrection on Easter Sunday. The more I thought about it, the more troubled I became. I wondered how it is possible to really GET resurrection without even contemplating death. Can there even BE resurrection without death?
For the entirety of Holy Week, my thoughts drifted back to this question, and I began to consider that this problem of trying to be people of the resurrection without encountering death just might be stifling the growth of a great many Christians and even congregations at the current time. Just as Jesus had to die before God could resurrect him, so we must die to old ways before we can experience the new life of resurrection.
I know this is true in my own life. If I hold onto sinful and destructive ways, I can’t live into new ways.
It is true for congregations, as well. As a pastor, I have heard many members of congregations through the years express a desire that their congregation grow (new life) but in the next breathe demand that nothing change about how the congregation operates. This past week I have been reminded: there is no resurrection without a death.
What do you think: in what ways can/should we die (or what things should we give up) in order that we – as individuals and as First Christian Church, Grand Junction (or whatever congregation you are a member of) – can truly experience the new life of resurrection? – Pastor Brad