Message

So, What Now?

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy
in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
     — Psalm 16:11
 
What does the church look like once Easter is over?
Once the alleluias have faded, the lilies begin to wilt, and the
congregation settles back into normal routine with attendance, this
triumphant holy day proclaiming the profound good news of Jesus’
resurrection can result in people exhausted, as though our worship and
celebration was what brought Jesus up out of that tomb.
What follows after the conclusion of Resurrection Sunday should be a
season of celebration, not a resting period. In all those sermons
preached all over the world about death not being the end, beginnings
and not endings, where is the integrity of our message if we settle back
into routine and the Sundays to follow just become normal?
Jesus is alive and among his own followers again, continuing to instill
within them life-giving peace, challenging them to take up their
responsibilities. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
 
But, it is not over.
 
This Psalm expresses confidence and trust that grounds our worship
and study in God’s presence any day of the year. Its gratitude and
rejoicing lifts the entire self to see that path of life beyond death. It
gives voice to the experience of being held in God’s hands, secure in
the belief that God is with us in every circumstance providing
protection and refuge. This psalm makes a formal appearance in the
life of the church when Peter cites it during the first Pentecost sermon
in Acts 2:22-28.  “You are my Lord … You show me the path of life.”
 
This is the basis for our post-Easter journey. In Easter, we are given the ability to see
the life-giving, life-transforming presence of God and the fullness of
joy. This Psalm reminds us that after the celebration of Easter, that
where there is resurrection, there is life, life continued in the presence
of God.
 
     —Trent Sessoms