He Is Risen Indeed

Easter morning. Chinese gets a point for its name for the holiday: “Resurrection Holiday.” Which they observe about as much as Americans celebrate Boxing Day. So today we’re hoping we can start a tradition of celebration among believers – we want to show them today is a special memorial. Unfortunately, we don’t really get any of that magnetic effect that American churches experience on Easter. But if we work hard this year to show them the significance, next year might have some draw.  

S. and T. are preaching today – their first full-length message. They’ve both preached about ten minutes probably fifteen times or so. They’re a little nervous I think, but we’ve spent a lot of hours on preparation this week, so I think they’ll do well (everyone’s used to enduring me, so it can’t go too badly). If everything goes right, we’ll record it and then we can go over it again later. So we’re going to two services today – praying for a decent number in both – but it’s really a win-win situation. When we have fewer people in a service, the connections we make with people are a lot stronger. And it’s not that much work to tack on another service. Today we’ll probably have a good number of repeats who’d like to hear both S. and T. (they’re both mini-celebrities in their own right!).  

This “Resurrection Day” means an awful lot this year. Today is the memorial to the greatest event in human history, but in our city, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. Which is why we live here. It sounds like a pretty easy job when you put it like that. There’s a message (which we have called the Gospel – literally “news of blessings” in Chinese) which needs to be told to every person in our city. Next time someone here asks me why I came to China, I’ll have to try that as an answer: “the resurrection!” Our whole faith hangs on the truth of the resurrection – it’s such an extraordinary claim that other religions don’t even attempt to make it about their leaders! I pray that our church will be transformed by the truth of the resurrection, just as the disciples and the early church.  

Publishing the resurrection sounds like a simple task. But it seems like our success in doing so is predicating upon one thing – the depth of our personal faith in its truth! I pray that God will make the resurrection more real to me this year than every before!

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