“Do It Again” by Pastor Chad Holtz
Easter is upon us, which means my five kids will have chocolate on their faces and grass stains on their knees this Saturday following our church’s annual cookout and egg hunt. On Sunday, churches around the world will be full of people, many of them no doubt wondering, what’s the point?
As a pastor I wonder at times if we really understand Easter. I sometimes have a hard enough time getting my head and heart around it myself so how can I expect others to understand it after a one hour service? Truth is, all my best efforts on Sunday won’t even come close to expressing the awesome, radical, life-changing event that is Easter.
My life verse is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. After naming as fact that Jesus died yet was made alive again, the Apostle Paul makes this astounding conclusion: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17, NLT). In the margin of my Bible beside that verse I have written, “It is not God’s desire for me to be better, but new.” God isn’t interested in churches full of people one or two days a year just so we can be “better” people. He is interested in making new people – new creations – through the working of the same power that made a dead Jesus alive again.
What would happen if our churches became places where new, not just better, people were being created? What would happen if all the visitors this Easter could catch a glimpse of a vision far more grand than just band-aids and wet-wipes for our bruised and dirty selves? Easter Sunday is a day when we celebrate a God who not only defeated death but did so for a reason: To make us into brand new people. New creations! And He does it not just on Easter Sunday but any and every day of the week with those of us who come to Him with open, humble hearts. Like children.
G.K. Chesterton wrote many wonderful things but my favorite of all is this description of a child-like God who loves to create. He writes,
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
At Mountain View UMC where I get to serve as pastor we believe God changes lives. It is my hope that this Easter, every church would be overflowing and brimming with expectation that what God did for Jesus on that first Easter would come alive in us all today. Whether you arrive Sunday wide-eyed with wonder or not yet awake from your slumber, it is my prayer that you leave with a sense that you have been in the presence of a God who makes new, not just better, people. And maybe you will return the week after because you saw something causing you to ask, “If God can ‘do it again’ for them, maybe He can ‘do it again’ for me.” I know He can…and will!
Blessings to you and yours this Easter season and beyond.
Pastor Chad Holtz