Well, another Resurrection Weekend here at Sligo has come and gone, and along with it, another opportunity to lift up the cross of Jesus Christ. And in Jesus’ own words, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” That in a nut shell is the reason behind all the programming that was planned from Thursday evening of last week, all the way through Sunday of this week, to lift up Jesus to our church, our campus and our community at large. And by “lifting Him up,” I mean that it gave us as a church the opportunity to help our communities see Jesus in a way that many may not be accustomed to seeing Him. Sadly in our culture today, the only time some ever mention the name of Jesus is in a derogatory and demeaning way. But who better than the church, Christ’s true representative to the world, to present an accurate portrayal of the light of the world to a society that is living in darkness.
But here’s an interesting thought that I had recently. Now that a week has passed since our first presentation of Resurrection Weekend, where do we go from here? Or to put it this way, “Now what?” Now that we have spent several days of letting our communities know that Christ is risen and that there is hope for them beyond this life, what should be our next move? I hope that you agree that there should be another step in this process. But the next step may not be what you might think, because in many ways the next step is out of our hands. And the reason I say this is because in my opinion, the next step is a work of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain what I mean. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that if he would be lifted up before the world, that he would be the one responsible in drawing them to Him. Too many times in working for God, we made the mistake of trying to accomplish a work that he has clearly reserved for himself. My job as a pastor is not to convert people. After all, I can’t even convert myself. That’s the Spirit’s job. My part in this process is to make myself available to be used of God in “lifting him up” to a culture that is insistent on dragging Him and everything that He stands for down.
But here’s the clincher. The way that I can best lift up Christ, is by first allowing him to be lifted up in my own life. Which means then that my job as a disciple of Jesus is still one of making myself available? It means putting myself in a position for God’s Spirit to begin a transforming work in my life. And as the apostle Paul said in his letter to the believers at Philippi, “He who has begun a good work in you shall complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” All I can say is, “Amen to that!”