I want to depart from my usual blog format which tends to be a bit lengthier and substantive and is designed for serious reading. Whenever possible and when it’s called for, I wanted to do a “Monday Morning Musings” piece - reflections on all that happened and all God did on Sunday. I thought that Easter would be the best time to kick this off as it has a “Super Bowl” of Sundays kind of feel to it to begin with. I know I’m like a proud father but, first, let me say what an incredible blessing and honor it is to serve with such faithful people of dedication and excellence. It really astounds me and makes me look far better than I really am!
Easter morning we witnessed another miracle! No, not the raising of the dead, but the incredible numbers of people who come to church on Easter Sunday!? Where do they all these people come from (and where do they all go)? Nevertheless, I simply view this as a great opportunity to preach the glorious Gospel of Christ to them again and hope that the Holy Spirit will penetrate their hearts. The real issue was not the numbers but the presence of God that was present. You’re playing on your home field, and you’re playing on Easter, which most people have no real argument against, and it’s like the Holy Spirit loves to pour it on! It also helps when both the kid’s choir and the adult choir, minister before you preach. The kid’s choir is simply too much! They put an incredible amount of work and practice in to each time they perform. No wonder Jesus said “a little child shall lead them” because they completely disarm people with their innocence (some are a standup comedy routine), but they are dead serious about wanting people to get saved! Then, the adult choir is just simply anointed. It makes me think what a heavenly choir of 10,000 times 10,000 and 1000's of 1000's is going to be like. Overwhelming is the word that comes to my mind. Talk about setting the stage for the Word to go forth! Thank you to both.
I preached on The Day That Changed The World. That was not a good title, but Pastor Rubi asked me for my Easter title long before I even had a sermon! This was for advertising purpose, so, I gave him that one (it obviously was the Day that changed the world). After studying the text that really inspired me I would have preferred to call it “Resurrection Horizons” from (Rom.1:1-7). The passage that really inspired me was, “Jesus Christ our Lord, who was... declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” The word “declared” is the word “horizo” where we get our word horizons from. It means to mark out or to bound like a boundary-line. It is a word all about clarity and not ambiguity. It carries the idea of a surveyor marking off a lot and saying “Here are the boundary lines of this property...no question.” Jesus’s unique Personhood as the “Son of God” and His purpose to save from sin was clearly marked off and confirmed unequivocally by His resurrection for the dead. The resurrection was God’s seal or confirmation on the authenticity of who Jesus was, His atoning death, and His ability to bring salvation to men. The Amplified Bible says “in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner by His resurrection from the dead.” To quote Albert Mohler, he said:
“The literal, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the vindication of Christ’s saving work on the Cross. The issue is simple - no resurrection, no Christianity. For this reason, believe in the resurrection of Christ is essential in order to be a Christian the Resurrection represents the Father’s complete satisfaction in the obedience of the Son – even unto death. Sin and death do not have the final word. Indeed, they are defeated through the saving work of Christ”
In our Evening Service was the final presentation of the play, “The Alabaster Jar.” What a fantastic performance. In my mind it would rival any professional production that you’d pay money to go and to see. It was masterfully scripted by Pastor Fred Rubi, and with an incredible cast they presented such a moving account that revolved around (Lk.7:36-50) the story of the sinful woman who found forgiveness at the feet of Jesus. The music that accompanied and played a major role in the presentation was phenomenal. Much of it was Ladino music. Until the play, I had no idea what that was. It is basically Sephardic music which has its roots in the musical traditions of the Jewish communities in medieval Spain. The meanings of the words were also portrayed on the screen which helped; but I can’t say enough about the quality and the anointing of their performance. The musicians, the singers, the actors, the people who worked behind the scenes are to be applauded. The last two Easter plays we’ve done, “He’s Alive” and “The Alabaster Jar” are both of such high quality that we may take them on the road next year in some fashion. Again, my hat is off to all that made this work, and if there were a curtain call I’d be calling for an encore!!
One final event of real note that might have been missed by many. Sister Cara Montoya just had surgery on Friday which was an important procedure. She was released to come home on Friday evening. I was sitting at the back of the church on Sunday night following the Communion Service, and getting ready for the play, when Cara and her husband Manny and their son Toby walked in! What a trooper! She could have had lots of reasons for staying home from church on Sunday night but they wanted to be in the house of God! I am humbled to Pastor people with that kind of devotion and faithfulness. We love them and are praying for a miracle and complete restoration.
OK, enough! I’ve got to go because even though yesterday was a great blessing and joy......SUNDAY’S COMING!