On Sunday we celebrate the most significant, the most miraculous event in human history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians everywhere this is the celebration that truly identifies us. While many religions teach such basic tenets as caring for the poor and loving one another, only Christianity offers the hope of redemption and salvation that the resurrection so dramatically provides. Through Christ’s death we have the promise of forgiveness and through his resurrection we have the promise of eternal life.
You’d think that with such a powerful message Christianity would attract the devotion of people everywhere and, for much of its history, it has. More recently, though, Christianity has gone through tumultuous times, especially in the United States and other more developed countries. It’s hard to fathom how this might be, but apparently the great message of the Gospel is not getting through. This is surely due in part to the many distractions—and temptations—of the modern age. It’s a tragedy, as the pleasures of the world can’t compare to the joy of the Gospel, and too many people have traded the one for the other or have no real understanding of the Gospel message at all.
This change can be seen in the decline in church attendance. A generation or two ago going to church was a simple fact of life. Most everyone spent part of their Sundays at worship. Now there are entire generations being raised with no connection to the church at all. There are those who discount the value of church attendance, but the fact is that going to church at least keeps people connected to the faith. And that’s important.
So how do we encourage people to retain their faith even in the absence of church involvement? How do we honor the Great Commission: that we make disciples of all nations—including our own? New times call for new approaches, but none can match the old-fashioned notion of showing the power of the gospel through the lives that we lead.
Clarence Jordan’s goal in establishing Koinonia Farm was to create a demonstration plot of the Kingdom of God. What a great concept, and one that we can all carry into our own lives. We should all have the goal of making our lives a demonstration of the power of the Gospel and the joy that comes with it.
We are blessed with the knowledge that our sins are forgiven and we have the promise of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That alone should impel us to share the gospel with all, through our words, our actions and the lives we lead. We are blessed beyond measure and called to share that blessing with all. May this Easter season inspire us to reach out to God’s people, to those in need and to the poor in spirit.