by: Rev. Alex Molozaiy
Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen indeed!
You are probably already aware that Easter, like Christmas, in the Christian Church calendar is more than one day, it’s a season. Christmas lasts the twelve days from Christmas Day to Epiphany on January 6th. Easter lasts the seven weeks from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, at which point we enter the uninspiringly-named “Ordinary Time” that accounts for roughly half of the Church year until it begins anew with the first Sunday of Advent.
You may not (and probably don’t) find the Church calendar quite as riveting a subject as self-proclaimed ‘church nerds’ like me do. The reason I’m sharing this background with you is because this year in particular, I’m recognizing a number of parallels between the stories of those first disciples and our experience some 2000 years later. Most of us are still wrestling in some meaningful way with the trauma(s) induced by living with over two years of COVID and can relate to how those first disciples found themselves reeling from the events in Jerusalem. Not only was their leader executed, even more puzzling was the Resurrection itself. After all, bodies of the dead usually remain where they were buried! The sometimes bumbling confusion and lack of direction displayed by the disciples becomes a lot more understandable.
What I find most heartening about the various post-Resurrection stories of the early church is that even in the face of uncertainty, arguments, unforced errors, and external persecution, not only do they keep going, they even occasionally meet with surprising success. The Church of our risen Lord and Savior exists for ministry to the Glory of God. It remains the same today. The faithful pursuit of that goal is all that is asked of us. God knows we won’t always succeed. Perhaps even knowing the results of our attempts to minister will be impossible or inconclusive and God has yet to begin handing out ‘report cards’ for our discipleship.
While some folks might appreciate or even crave that kind of feedback and all of us presumably want to please God, I find some comfort in knowing that it’s our process of being the Church of Jesus that matters most in the production of our chief product: Christians.
I believe that in order to do the work of ministry in this confusing and somewhat daunting time that we Christians need to be experimenting more freely, with less worry about dire consequences for making the wrong move if the Church does so openly, honestly, and prayerfully. What could we attempt to do if we trusted fully that win, lose, or draw, God would be glorified?