Pastoral Reflection for 4.12.15

Easter at CoaH and the Post-Easter Effect

Last week was one of the high points in the history of City on a Hill. We don’t talk about numbers very often but it is worth noting that last Sunday we had the largest crowd in the history of CoaH. A total of 410 people (adults and children) gathered at CoaH on Easter to worship the risen Jesus! 

One of the highlights of our gatherings was the baptisms. What a great joy it was to see Abby and Beth baptized as a public profession of their faith in Jesus! Their journeys were beautiful testimonies to the pursuing love of God and the importance of community to all of us, no matter where we are in the journey. If you missed their stories, we have posted them on CoaH’s Facebook page.

We also kicked off our Alpha Course last Sunday night with an encouraging group of people. The meeting went well as the group began exploring life’s biggest questions. I’m excited that we are hosting this course. Alpha is making a big impact across the globe with 169 countries hosting Alpha Courses. Susan Lee, A Senior Editor at Forbes, commented about Alpha, “It works. I can testify to that. Indeed it even worked for old snobby me…” It’s not too late to get involved if you are interested. Just sign up at the back table, mark on your connection card, or email Jonathan Moseley (jmoseley@coahchurch.org).

Finally, just a word about what I call the “post-Easter effect.” After Easter is over I have found that I often go through a period of discouragement, challenges, or suffering. It may be general circumstances, an internal feeling, or a specific situation that tests me, but it always drives me back to the question, “What has changed since Easter?” The answer to that question is always me, not Jesus. I have to remind myself that the same Jesus that rose on Easter morning is the one walking with me, guiding me, and empowering me to face life. I don’t mean to undermine legitimate suffering, but if the early church was able to face severe persecution and even death because Christ defeated Satan, sin, and death, that same peace is available to us today, regardless of our circumstances.

As we continue to press through 1 Peter in our worship gatherings we will see this truth show up again and again. I encourage you read and re-read 1 Peter as we continue in our sermon series through it.

Praying that you walk in the joy and the power of the resurrected Christ,

Pastor Bland