Wednesday, March 31, 2010
HE IS RISEN!
"HE IS RISEN!!!" As a teen, that is what my Southern Baptist pastor Brother Phillip Bradshaw always greeted folks with on Easter morning. And the expected response was HE IS RISEN INDEED!!! It always felt a little cheesy, but the spirit intended was right. After all, this weekend marks the most important event of our faith. Without the resurrection, Christianity would have been just a passing fad. With the resurrection, Jesus Christ simultaneously paid the worlds debt for sin, gifting each of us with the decision to choose eternal life and also demonstrating God’s mighty power over the natural. It cannot be overstated how important Christ’s death and resurrection is to all of us.
My decision to follow Christ started in 1990, when I was 18 the week after Easter following a week of revival at Williamstown Baptist Church. Revival happened about once a year and consisted of 7 nights of church services culminating in a bunch of baptisms. It was always scheduled ahead of time, and to me, basically it just meant that Granny Sharpe was going to guilt me into attending as much as possible. This particular revival seem to speak to me for some reason. All week I felt moved and stirred for some reason. I didn’t even understand what was happening, but the urge to come forward during the alter calls was percolating, but I was able to resist. I was able to stuff that emotion way deep down inside, and it also helped that I always sat up in the balcony. It was kind of hard to come forward when I was so far away. I was in control.
One afternoon the week following Easter, Brother Bradshaw came knocking on my door. I was sitting in the living room watching the Reds play. We made some small talk about the Reds or something. Eventually Brother Bradshaw says “Bryan, last week, I noticed you were Pew clutching”. Williamstown Baptist was not a gigantic church but it seats about 500 people and I always sat in the balcony. ‘How in the world did he see that?’ is what I was thinking. Anyway, we continued our conversation I don’t remember everything that was said but I do remember praying and accepting Christ right then and there in my living room while watching the Reds play.
My life has never been the same since. Now I understand the enthusiasm behind “HE IS RISEN”, because I am risen with Him.