The Holiest Day
Yes, another Easter has come and gone. Isn’t it a wonder how the churches were filled to the brim on this very special day. People jammed into the overflow areas, standing in the isles. In Psalm 118:24, the traditional song that was sung at the conclusion of Passover, God’s inspired word tells us, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
We often hear these words in our church services. However, the psalmist was telling us that Easter is the day the Lord has made through the miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection. People filled our churches, singing and praising God. Dressed in their finest, they rejoiced and carried their celebrations home for the day.
Now the sadness comes. It is after Easter and attendance in church is normal again. As we look out into the congregations, some have dropped to half of Easter’s attendance. What is it about human nature and faith that could shift so quickly from the pursuit of holy joy to the pursuit of a hole-in-one?
Our society today is not unlike the societies of the Bible. We do an excellent job of taking issues like faith and God and moving them to middle ground. What is middle ground? It is a position that is taken to avoid controversy, a position without cause. Middle ground never offends, never risks failure, and never takes sides. Taking middle ground is how the death and resurrection of Christ was converted to bunny rabbits, chocolate eggs and jelly beans. Taking middle ground is how Christ could ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as a King and five days later, be beaten and crucified.
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. ~Psalm 1
The question to contemplate is whether the Christian Church can survive today holding middle ground, offending no one, never considering change, or never taking sides. Have you looked for Biblical support on middle ground? There is none. God gives us clear choices and we can find how to make those choices in Psalm 1.
God’s kingdom requires people to change their attitudes but not God’s message. Easter, the full churches on Easter, remind us how hungry the world is for a message of hope, redemption and salvation. Moving off middle ground is never easy. There are risks. Remember that God only asks us to try in faith. When we do, He does not disappoint but leads us to the solid banks of a stream where we can be nourished.
Share your faith with a friend or neighbor. They may be thirsty.
Make a difference in this world. Stand with God.
Make sure you bear fruit and be generous with it.
Make sure you are not comfortably on middle ground. Stand with God.
God Defined – Through the Eyes of Scripture
Psalm 1, written by David, gives us a definitive view of the choices God gives each of us. In just six short verses, we see that there are only two places for mankind to stand; on God’s side or opposing God. God does not give us a third choice and for sure God does not give us middle ground. David knew that he must accept the God that IS, not the God he wanted.
Verse 3 compares each of us to a tree, planted by streams of water, yielding fruit, kept healthy and prosperous by standing with God. There are many places in Scripture where we are compared to trees or vines, bearing fruit for the benefit of God’s kingdom.
Why the frequent comparison to fruit? Fruit is not grown for the benefit of the tree or vine, only for those who pass by and eat of it. God’s plan is to nourish others through the feeding of His people with our fruit. We cannot feed people from the middle ground. God calls each of us to “choose sides.”
Your tip, therefore, is to pick a side and then play hard for victory. I would pick God’s team—He always wins, you know.