What are you really celebrating?

So, I have to tell you, I am excited to celebrate Easter! I have Good Friday off and made plans to color eggs and bake cookies with friends!  Yes, I am bummed about the stupid cold weather. (I didn’t even buy any Easter dresses this year?!) But honestly, I look forward to the early making Easter basket surprises and actually enjoy the early morning hustle. Easter morning, and most holidays, mean an early 8am arrival for our 10:30am service. My kids are used to the buzz that Easter and Christmas create and we get up extra early without complaint.

We still have plenty of time after church for family gatherings. Certainly, regardless of the weather, there will be Easter baskets, egg hunts, family and candy! 94D748D3-86AD-4870-A8A4-23590224C648Our worship team started preparing for Easter about 2 weeks after Christmas. We seem to have a rhythm of learning songs for “special services.” It’s Christmas, Easter, Joyful Hearts, Round Up, and then back to Christmas. The Rhythm- the cycle- the routine. … it’s not a bad thing – but it is predictable. I was thinking- what am I REALLY looking forward to celebrating on Sunday? What is the motive behind all our preparation and the special plans? What does it REALLY look like to celebrate Easter?

Now don’t shout me down, but if I am being really honest, I think maybe I am looking forward to the “service?” — maybe I am excited to see the final production, and I am excited for the reaction of our congregation, visitors, and the worship team.   A reaction? Really, is that my expectations? Feels sort of wrong, shallow or misplaced.

Hmm, as the praise and worship leader, I work hard to keep my focus on worship- not performance. For me, it’s personal. On purpose, I aim to create unity and inclusion, no spotlight, but rather a healthy team who always fosters true worship.  I want it to be authentic, humble, anointed— not a display of talent or a performance or production.

So, the more I consider my heart, the more I realize that, whew, my motives are pure. While I AM looking forward to the Sunday service, it’s because I AM expecting people to have a reaction! I believe hundred will be blessed by our song selection, moved by our worship team and challenged by our Pastor.  I am expecting people to encounter the presence of God in an emotional and powerful way.  And yes, I am excited because I get to be a small part of that.

I celebrate Easter as an opportunity to use my faith to create cause for others to believe! I mean to really believe! I celebrate Easter in hopes it will cause others to celebrate Easter with a fullness in their hearts.

From the smiles and welcoming hugs to the music and message, I am going to be watching for that reaction! Yes, I am watching for dull eyes to light up, for a cold heart to turn towards the Father, for broken souls to step towards hope, and for closed minds to consider Christ. I am going to be watching for the ahha moment of awakening, where someone decides, yes it’s worth trying one more time! I am expecting to see someone unlock their heart and allow God in!

I live grateful for salvation, dependent on the power of forgiveness, and aware of the promise of eternal life.  I celebrate Easter by pointing others towards the cross. Please consider this Easter- if you are a church go-er, be in your home church, and keep your heart wide open. Don’t come to be entertained, but come to encounter Jesus! And… if you don’t regularly attend, I ask for you, not just to “go to church” but that you would consider the cross and dare to believe in the power of resurrection!  He was born, He died, He was raised from the dead, and He is coming again!   Easter gives us the power to believe the Cross has the final word! Forgiveness is for you! I would love to hug your neck this Easter Sunday – join us for worship at Central Christian Center at 10:30am! I will be there extra early, I can save you a seat!

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