OK. Easter is over. Jesus is Risen. What now?
Besides the overeating, too much sugar, hyper kids, traveling in crazy traffic on bad roads, stress and spending too much money… If you are like me you really enjoy the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving going through Advent and then on to Easter. It just seems like there is alway something to plan, do, consider, pray about and look forward to. But what about after Easter Sunday has concluded? Once you have pushed back from the Easter Sunday dinner table, the dishes have been cleared, goodbyes to family have been said, and the kids have passed out from too much sugar. What now?
8 long months without anything on the Christian religious calendar. Well… Sort of.
Oh, sure we have Mother’s and Father’s days, and Memorial and Independence days — but as far as holidays with deep spiritual significance (as a pastor these are also great ministry opportunities) we will just have to wait right?
Actually there is one more Judeo-Christian holiday that should be observed by all Christians.
Now some might argue that Passover is the next significant holiday on the religious calendar, but unless you are of Jewish descent or have converted to Judaism it probably is not something you are used to celebrating. Not to say you can’t observe it as a Christian but the holiday doesn’t have it’s roots in Christianity. As Christians we mostly only observe Passover in relation to our belief that Jesus fulfilled the prophetic nature of the passover feast. Most Christians remember the event of the last passover meal that Jesus ate with his disciples on Maundy Thursday. We remember his fulfillment of the Passover regularly at the Lord’s Table in the ordinance of Communion.
Pentecost is a Jewish Feast. But it is not only a Jewish feast. Something very significant for the followers of Jesus also happened at Pentecost.
Pentecost is the day the Church was established.
The day that the Holy Spirit manifested himself in the followers of Jesus. The day that the followers of Jesus cowering and afraid hiding out in a small upper room in Jerusalem were radically and forever changed into mighty missionaries who went out under the power of the Holy Spirit and turned the world upside down!
What a day!
It should be circled on all of our Calendars!
It was the day the followers of Jesus knew without a doubt that he had not left them alone in this world and that they would indeed accomplish far more now that he was gone. (John 14:12)
The Easter season technically continues on past Easter Sunday and goes until Pentecost. This is a great time for us to remember the things that Jesus did during this time. He appeared to to his disciples, in Jerusalem, on the road to Emmaus, and at the Sea of Galilee. All of these appearances were meant to encourage them and build their faith that He is Risen.
Then he met them in Galilee and gave them The Great Commission.
“Go into all the world…” (Matthew 28:18–20)
This was the command that started it all. Another great reason to party!
“…there are still billions of people that don’t know Jesus?”
How can we celebrate during this time? Here are some ideas;
Traditionally churches often decorate in red. Also it is a time to hold baptisms. But there is much more that we can do. Talk about Missions and teach your kids about missionaries. Did you know that there are still billions of people that don’t know Jesus?
“If you don’t already support a missionary or two, this is a great time to start.”
If you don’t already support a missionary or two, this is a great time to start. (https://www.sendhopenow.org/) There are many great missions organizations out there. Find one and sign up. Or give some extra to your church’s mission fund.
It. Is. Just. That. Easy.
Ask your pastor to pray about making this time between Easter and Pentecost a time to focus on missions and evangelism teaching. Plan an outreach during this time and show the world what it means to live out The Great Commission. Write a blog post about it. Share out a blog post about it.
One of the most important things you can do during this time is pray. Pray for our missionaries. Pray for the Church. Not just your own local church but The Church.
“The Church is facing more persecution today than ever before.”
The Church is facing more persecution today than ever before. That also means we have an opportunity to shine bright.
So don’t stop the celebration there is still good reason to get your party on! Do something to further the Great Commission and then remember the day the church came into being and the Holy Spirit manifested his presence in our lives!
So have a Merry Great Commission Season and a Happy Pentecost!