"Are We a Post-Easter Church?"
Although the song says, “June is bustin’ out all over,” around First Presbyterian Church it is “May is bustin’ out all over!” With three major events, the Presbyterian Women’s Luncheon, the Relay for Life, and “Spring for Kidz,” plus all the regular activities, May is really busting out!
We have just celebrated Easter and are still in the Easter season. Do we live and act like a Pre-Easter Church or a Post-Easter Church? In other words, do we live as Easter People or not? In an article titled, “Are You Living on the Right Side of Easter?”, Dr. William Wilson talks about Pre-Easter churches and Post-Easter churches. A couple of things jumped out to me. First, a pre-Easter church is fixated on the past. That church sees its glory days as happening in the past and it yearns for yesterday. A post-Easter church, however, is focused on the future. This church believes that the best is yet to come! This church appreciates the past but is not stuck in the past. A post-Easter church is convinced that the Living God is calling the church into a dynamic and invigorating future. This kind of church takes risks and looks with confidence toward the future.
A pre-Easter church is one that lives in fear and dread. As Dr. Wilson writes: “The headwinds of culture are strong and the metrics of most established churches show decline.” Pre-Easter churches give in to the temptation to raise barriers to those who are different, grow increasingly angry, and then become increasingly irrelevant. On the other hand, Post-Easter churches, even though they know the challenges, believe that God is at work and wants the church engaged in the larger life of the larger community. These churches believe that the Good News of Jesus Christ is exactly what the world needs now and “that there has never been a better day to be God’s people on a mission into the world.”
In many ways, I see First Presbyterian Church in Hawley as a Post-Easter church. We are involved in the larger community with the Good News Café, our work with Hawley Head Start, our now Annual Spring for Kidz Carnival, our Presby Striders Team in Relay for Life, and our Vacation Bible School. Over the years this church has taken risks and most have paid off. Yes, there will be challenges ahead, no doubt about that, but a Post-Easter church sees those challenges as opportunities for mission. A Post-Easter church knows God is not done with us yet. I so agree with Dr. Wilson when he reminds us: “We are Easter People…365 days a year!”
See you in church!
Grace, Peace, and Love,