In A Nutshell | April 2, 2021

Filling the Void with Active Engagement

Believe it or not, the saddest time of the week for me is just after our worship
service ends on Sunday morning and everyone has gone home. The church is empty
and dark, and the idea that it will be largely vacant for another seven days is very
At the same time, I am reminded that emptiness often gives way to new life. For
example, on this Good Friday, as we solemnly mark the agonizing crucifixion of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we must remember that the cross became vacant when
his body was removed. Likewise, the tomb in which he was buried, was also empty by
the time the sun rose on Easter morning, signaling a fresh new beginning for all of us.

The cross and the tomb will forever remain unoccupied because His death and
resurrection were so magnanimous that they will never have to be repeated again. He
carried the sins of the entire world on his shoulders — an unjust, unrelenting, and
unimaginable burden — so that we could be liberated. Then, his glorious resurrection
defeated permanent death and opened the gates of Heaven for those who would
choose to accept and follow Him.

What does all of this have to do with our present-day church? Everything. Let’s
face it, we’ve been dying a slow and agonizing death for many years — long before the
pandemic. Apathy, indifference, complacency, and a variety of other factors, including
the many other options available in today’s fast-paced world, have led to shrinking
church body.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that in Christ there is always hope and an
opportunity for rebirth. In fact, as the weather warms up and the pandemic fades, it is
time for us to seize the opportunity to grow in ways that we have never grown before.
Let’s make Oak Chapel so much more than a one-hour experience on Sunday
mornings. Let’s take full advantage of the wonderful facility that our ancestors built for
us. Let’s get back to some of the storied church traditions that had to be suspended
during the past year. Let’s be active in creating new opportunities for fellowship and
mission. Let’s be intentional about inviting others, particularly young people, to our
“kind, caring, compassionate church in the country.”

God will lead us, and God will bless us, but we have to fight the inertia that has
set in, not only during the past 13 months, but for many years prior. It’s time to shake of
the ill effects of inactivity and make our church the active, attractive, and vibrant place it
was always intended to be — a must-see destination for all.

I hope you’ll join me as we use Easter Sunday as a springboard into a whole new
world of dynamic worship, fellowship, stewardship, and evangelism. Then, we’ll see
what God has planned. I believe it will exceed our wildest expectations.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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