For pastors at Easter, the pressure is on—but the Spirit will lead

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For pastors at Easter, the pressure is on—but the Spirit will lead

April 12, 2022 - Mark Turman

© Daxiao Productions /stock.adobe.com

golf shot from sand bunker golfer hitting ball from hazard

© Daxiao Productions /stock.adobe.com

The worship leader guided us in a fantastic experience of Scripture, prayer, and musical worship on Palm Sunday. When the choir and worship team finished their featured song, the whole congregation was standing and participating.

In reflection of the first Palm Sunday celebration, the hallelujahs to Jesus as savior were loud and joyful, as they should be. Before the final word and note, the congregation was applauding eagerly in honor of Christ Jesus and the giftedness of those who were facilitating worship on this sacred day.

As the applause subsided, the worship leader declared, “It’s only the biggest week in all of human history. You gotta go big or go home.”

Our Super Bowl

“Go big or go home” is likely how every pastor worth his salt is feeling on this Easter week Tuesday.

Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday are for pastors the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA, and NHL Championships all together. Like the Masters Golf Tournament and its display of pressure and performance, Easter comes every spring and gives rise to enormous pressure to celebrate well the timeless message and meaning of the greatest love ever shown, the greatest sacrifice ever offered, and the greatest power ever demonstrated in the defeat of sin and death.

I pray that you will have the calmness, clarity of focus, and joy in each moment that was displayed by Scottie Scheffler, this year’s Master’s champion. But unlike the golf tournament, your ministry this Easter week and Sunday will have a greater eternal impact.

Can you remember who won the Masters a year ago, or the last ten?

Can you recall who played in the Super Bowl and who won just eight weeks ago?

We mark our lives by the many events we enjoy throughout the year. There’s a lot of good in that. It gives rhythm to our lives. As Christ-followers blessed with the privilege of sharing God’s word and facilitating the worship of his people, remembering and refocusing on Jesus’ cross and resurrection and coming kingdom should be the pinnacle of the year and our hope.

Be encouraged

I know you are in the throes of sermon, worship, and ministry preparation because you want to exalt Jesus in ways that bring people closer to him. In this great week, you are living the tension to “be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 CSB). You are also trusting Jesus, who said, “You will be given what to say” (Matthew 10:19).

So let me encourage you: sleep well and ask God to teach you a sacred pace for the sacred paths of ministry you get to walk with him. Know that he is going ahead and behind you.

This week and this Sunday matter greatly to him—and so do you.

Say your prayers, study your text, and work with your team to point people to Christ’s cross and conquering resurrection.

Trust your swing

Golf is my preferred sport these days. I loved watching Sunday at the Masters once again this year. There is nothing like the back nine at Augusta National each spring.

Once again, the most famous hole in golf, the short par 3 twelfth showed its power. Scottie Scheffler was in a close race with Australian Cameron Smith. Then Smith hit his tee shot into the creek that runs in front of the hole.

The wheels came off with Smith scoring a triple bogey. Why?

The simple analysis: he didn’t trust his swing. He hesitated in his downstroke, causing just enough change in power to come up short.

So, my word to you is “trust your swing.”

God has prepared you for this week. But more than trusting your swing, trust his Spirit that is in you and around you. He will lead you and us into his victory.

Have a great Resurrection Celebration 2022!

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