Thursday, March 24, 2016

Experiencing Jesus at Easter

Years ago, I read a story about a popular English journalist named Malcolm Muggeridge.  Early on in Muggeridge’s career, he served as a correspondent in the USSR.  In one report, he analyzed religion’s decline in the Soviet block, interviewing Kremlin officials and others hoping to rid society of faith.  During his investigation, Muggeridge also attended a Russian Orthodox Church service to document the “dying” expressions of Christianity.

As Muggeridge observed the service, he focued on the faces of the Russian worshipers.  Nearing the end, the priest yelled, “He is risen!”  The church family responded by yelling back, “He is risen indeed!” As Muggeridge watched the expressions of Russian Christians yelling, “He is risen indeed,” he converted to faith in Jesus – on the spot.

Recounting his conversion years later, Muggeridge said the joy of those shouting, “He is risen indeed” compelled him to convert.  It wasn’t correct ideas or well crafted arguments that convinced Muggeridge.  It was the joyful expressions of faithful worshipers experiencing the living Christ in person.  The joy of the experience, expressed on their faces, could not be refuted.

That may be the most powerful Christian witness of all: a joyful response to the experience of the living Christ.  When we not only believe Jesus rose from the dead, but experience it, expressing it joyfully, we witness in ways that are as powerful as words.  The joy of experiencing Jesus speaks for itself.

This Easter week, we have an opportunity to experience and respond to the living Jesus Christ.  On Friday, 03/25, at 7 pm, Faith Center will host a Good Friday service, filled with scripture, prayer, song and communion.  Then, on Easter Sunday, at 9:00a and 10:45a, we will celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen indeed.  There will be flowers, special food, songs of celebration, baptism and more.  

Please join us for these special worship events.  They give us all a chance to experience the joy of Jesus' resurrection.  They also give us a chance to respond to the Lord joyfully: "He is risen indeed!"

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