Love is Alive!

I was picking up a pizza at a local tavern last week. The women at the register asked how the church was going, and I used it as an opportunity to invite her and her husband to worship on Easter. She said she appreciated the invitation but did not want to be lumped into the group of people who “only go to church on Easter.” I told her if you only go to worship once year, make sure it is Easter! There is no better day to worship God than Easter!
The fact is, Easter will be celebrated around the world by more people than we could ever count. People who come every week and people who come once a year will prioritize this one day and seek a message of faith. Folks who will hang on to every word of the message and folks who will not sure why Christians are so excited about the resurrection will be in a church on Easter. Those who are proud of their faith and those proud that they do not adhere to faith will show up. Some will be happy they came with their entire family, and others will come just to make their family happy.
Many of you who read this weekly email have gone all in living the values of Big Life and would even be at church in the middle of a snow storm…like you were all winter! Yet others of you are in a different place. Maybe you came once long ago and can’t bring yourself to unplug completely. Maybe you came a few times and then life changed or the time got away from you. Or maybe you feel your life actually is too busy to worship consistently. Let THIS be a week that you choose faith. Do not let anything stand between you and celebrating Easter with the rest of the Christians in the world.

I am not sure what will nudge you out the door this Sunday, but I hope something does. We would love for you to make plans to worship this Sunday at either 9:30 or 11:00 at Big Life C.C. As we gather to worship this Sunday, we each will choose to make the most of it. So sing a little louder, give a little more, shake a few more hands, welcome a few moe people, and pray with a little more focus than you would on another day. The resurrection is the reason for our faith. It is the capstone of Jesus’ unique place in history and in our worship. It is the promise of God that life is stronger than death and love is stronger than hate.
See you this Sunday as we celebrate Easter! Invite a friend, family member, or coworker to come with you to Easter at Big Life C.C.
-Pastor Geoff



A Resurrection Influence

Are you owning your influence?
Easter is less than a month away, April 20th. I will not lie, I love Easter. The season, the contagious joy, and the message of eternal life are what our faith is all about. There is no better time to offer faith to someone in your life than Easter. People are uniquely spiritually receptive to consider faith and a visit to church.
Here is how to own your influence during this important faith season leading up to Easter. First, make every effort to be in worship at Big Life in the coming weeks and on Easter Sunday. You will be glad that you did. Second, let a friend, coworker or family member know you are saving them a seat on Easter Sunday. Tell them a little about Big Life C.C. has made a difference to you. Why do you think they will like it?
Finally, ask God for a refreshing of your faith, a resurrection. I have heard from many of you that the Messages on our influence at home and work and starting to use the Bible were some things you needed to hear and live into. These are resurrection habits that will bring new life to your faith and to others. While we believe Jesus rose from the dead 2000 years ago, we also believe he is still raising people from death to life today. Are you in need a resurrection this Easter? Ask God to bring to life parts of you that you thought would never live again.
Easter is the core of what our faith is all about. New life, fresh hope, and enduring faith for any who will believe. Make plans to worship April 20th with your family and friends at Big Life Community Church.
This Sunday we wrap up our series “Outsourcing.” You will not want to miss this final call to action. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 AM!
Geoff
Lead Pastor



Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick?

It would be easy to interpret the church’s celebration of Saint Patrick as just about Irish/ Celtic ethnicity. But the real reason is far closer to the heart of this church’s ministry!
Saint Patrick was not Irish; he was born in England. However at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and enslaved by Celtic raiders from Ireland. The Irish natives were a violent, clan-based people, with no Christian influence or heritage, rather a Druid / Celtic polytheistic religion that even utilized human sacrifice. Patrick later described that the time he spent as a slave was when his faith turned to Jesus and solidified, on the fields shepherding as a captive, and he converted to and devoted himself to Christ. In his early 20’s he fled captivity and found passage on a ship back to Britain to study Christianity.
However, after becoming a clergyman in England, he felt led to return to Ireland to evangelize to the very people who had enslaved him. He used his early life challenge as God’s tools. Fluent and familiar with their wild culture, he baptized many across Ireland, shared Jesus with the native peoples. He was highly creative in engaging the Celtic traditions and Druid habits into incorporation with Christian symbols and theology. Though little formal history survives, the common stories about his work are extraordinary in their scope and creative reach to share the Gospel.
In the entire history of Christianity, there are few missionaries with the impact of Saint Patrick. That is why we celebrate and enjoy the holiday in remembrance of one of the true evangelists for Jesus.
Saint Patrick’s Prayer
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Amen