Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
There is no other day
in the year quite like Easter Sunday!
is a wonderful day, but it comes in second to Easter for me. No other day
thrills my soul quite like Easter Sunday. I love it all -- the Easter bunnies,
the Easter eggs, the Easter clothes, and the Easter music. What a glorious day
cynic may say that I prefer Easter because more people go to church on Easter
than on any other Sunday. That is true, and it is also true that few of us
Protestants even go to church on Christmas Day – unless it falls on a Sunday. I
confess that I do love to see the church packed on Easter Sunday, especially if
I have the honor of preaching.
there is more to it than the large attendance for me. There is the growing
sense of anticipation as we move from Palm Sunday, to Maundy Thursday, to Good
Friday, and finally to that glad morning when God kicked the end out of
the tomb and let the light out. When I go to bed on Saturday night I
can hardly wait for my alarm to go off at
Easter Sunday I have to find a sunrise service somewhere, whether I am
preaching or not. For many years now I have enjoyed the sunrise service at
I must confess I really like it when one of my black brothers
preaches; for some reason those fellows can really shell the corn. And the more
they stir my soul, the more I want to find a pulpit where I can proclaim the
good news myself. After all, is there any better news than the glad
announcement that God has given us victory over death? Does it get any better
than to hear that one day I will be able to see my Savior face to face, and to
see again my son David, my sister Laurida, my mom, my dad, and all the
friends I have loved and lost? I don’t think so!
want to get there early so I can eat a doughnut, have some orange juice, and
drink a cup of coffee. Each year these refreshments are provided by the Pilot
Club and the Kiwanis Club of
it is raining when I awaken Sunday morning, I will smile and say, “Thank you,
Lord, for the rain.” Some folks may turn over and go back to sleep, but not me.
I will wrap up and worship in the rain if I must, or simply follow the crowd
over to First Presbyterian Church, the backup location in case of bad weather.
Rain will not dampen my enthusiasm for this glorious morning!
the sunrise service I will return home, fine tune my own sermon for the
morning, and make my way to Trinity. It will be my last Easter Sunday as pastor
of this wonderful church. How fortunate I have been – these gracious people
have allowed me to celebrate Easter with them for 13 years! They will never be
able to understand the depth of my gratitude for the high privilege of serving
God with them all these years!
high noon Easter Sunday I will have preached twice about the amazing love which
caused Jesus to die in order that the gift of eternal life might be offered to
all who believe. When I enter the pulpit each time Sunday morning, I will be
breathing a prayer for my fellow pastors – Larry, Clifford, A. L., Willie,
Greg, Jim, Mike, Tim, Steve, Al, Tommy, Frank, Ezra, Mark, Tom, George,
Rusty, Molly, Fred, Virginia, Alton, Gloria, James, Robbins, Elizabeth,
Rick, Loren, Rob, and John, to name a few. I will ask the Father to let
our messages be so authentic, and so anointed with power, that all over Lee
County a loud “Hallelujah!” will be shouted by God’s people of all
denominations that celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! Despite our
differences, we are one in Jesus Christ!
After Jesus was resurrected
he appeared many times to his disciples. On one occasion the gospel writer says
that “some doubted.” Some still doubt today, while others choose to believe
that by the time the angel had rolled the stone away and sat on it, God had
already raised Jesus from the dead.
Many believe today that
Jesus lives. I am one of them. Perhaps that is the main reason I love Easter so
much. It gives me the chance to say, “Thank you, Lord, for conquering death and
hell, and giving me that which I do not deserve – the gift of eternal life.”
Easter Sunday! Bring it on!