This is a little late, but it's been a busy week. I went back to NC for a couple of days to see my grandfather, who's health is not that great, and also to help him conduct the funeral for my step-dad's mother. So, I am a little behind on everything this week.
But it's never too late to praise the Lord for a great Sunday of worship last week. I believe that was about as packed as I've ever seen the sanctuary. Everyone did a wonderful job in serving/worshipping that day to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection.
It would be great if every Sunday were that packed, but I imagine we will not have the same crowd this Sunday. That will be so not because the resurrection isn't worth celebrating to that degree each week nor because Christ isn't worth treasuring. We should celebrate the resurrection like we do on Easter every week and every day for that matter. Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure above all and is worthy of to be praised and satisfied with above all.
The stark reality is the reason this Sunday will not be as packed as last Sunday is that most of the people who show up on Easter do not do so to celebrate the resurrection or to treasure Jesus Christ. They do so because it's tradition. It's what you are supposed to do on that Sunday each year in the Spring. They do so out of guilt from their parents or spouse.
I thought earlier this week about how exciting it was to see all those people there on Sunday, but I wished God would let me see something else. I wish I could have seen what God was doing through His gospel in the hearts of people there on Sunday. I wish for a second God would let me see the dual work of the Gospel on the hearts of people. Someone once said that the Gospel's affect on hearts is like the sun's affects on clay. The same sun that softens some clay hardens others. The same Gospel that softens some hearts hardens others. Yes, it would have been discouraging and heartbreaking to see the hardening of some peoples hearts as the Gospel was preached, but oh how marvelous it would be to see the beginning of the Gospel's work on a heart to soften it in the process of being completely changed by Christ!
Let this Sunday's decrease in attendance be discouraging. It should be and it is. But I pray that God would use the decrease in attendance to slap us in the face with the reality of how few people were here of those who usually are not here who were actually here to celebrate the resurrection and treasure the Christ who rose from the dead. But more than that I pray God would use the reality of the decrease in attendance this week to break our hearts and stir within us afresh the urgent need for us as the church to be sharing the Gospel with those lost people as we are going each day so that, if the Lord's coming tarries, we might see in the future a Sunday after Easter where the attendance was just the same as Easter Sunday!
Pray with me that God would make it so!