Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
The Easter Crowd
by Jenny on April 8th, 2015

"At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him." John 6:66

I LOVE Easter Weekend at church. The music, the joy, the Spirit, the display and . . . the blessed crowd.

Due to my ever-expanding belly I move slower and slower these days. Half-way through preparing for Easter morning worship it became apparent to me that unlike most days, our family would NOT arrive early to church. Ugh. Finding seats for five on Easter morning would prove a challenge.

We arrived to church a few minutes before the next scheduled service. Nope, no seats in our usual place of worship. Off to the "overflow" room. Nope, no seats in overflow. Off to the atrium. One pastor saw our family roaming (and me waddling) the halls and commented, "What? Is there no room in the Inn?" Funny, Pastor J. Too funny.

After spending a few minutes in separate places of worship our family eventually reconvened in a row of seats together. I explained to our children that I LOVED the fact that we had a hard time finding a seat. I explained how I didn't mind if our family could not sit together on Easter morning. I was willing to sit on the floor . . . as long as someone could help me up when the service concluded. I love experiencing THAT many people coming to pay tribute to Jesus. The Easter crowd, I explained, is a GOOD thing.

But one question haunts me . . . to where will the crowd disperse this coming Sunday?

I would hazard to guess that this coming Sunday our family will experience no trouble in locating a row of five seats together, regardless of how early (or late) we arrive to church. No side-aisles will need to be construed, no extra chairs pulled from Sunday school classrooms. The crowd, a much smaller crowd, will fit nicely in the normal arrangement of places to worship. Why? Where will everyone go?

Jesus experienced the same turning of the tides in His day. In John 6 we read about a huge crowd that had gathered once again to see Jesus at work. People had heard of Jesus' miracles. Many people were familiar with Jesus' teachings. The crowd knew Jesus was someone worth seeing, if and when the opportunity presented itself.

After Jesus arrived at the Sea of Galilee, the crowd gathered and received more than they bargained for--teaching AND a free meal! The crowd awoke the next day and decided to pursue Jesus once again. Only this time Jesus eliminates all the fancies. No wondrous miracles. No free meals. This time, Jesus asks them to simply believe (John 6:29). John concludes this chapter by telling us, "At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him." (John 6:66)

I was once a deserter. I remember the years I attended church if and when the opportunity presented itself. I paid homage to God on those all-important days, Jesus's birthday (a.k.a. Christmas) and that Spring holiday called Easter.

But God is not pleased with my shallow offerings. God wants my heart.

In Psalm 51:16-17 David wrote, "You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God."

And might I mention that David recorded those words after he had committed the grievous sins of adultery and murder?

The US military has extremely strict laws on desertion. Thankfully, God will not reject a broken and repentant heart. God welcomes us back no matter how many times we may have deserted Him.

God wants our hearts, which for many people, is a steep price to pay. I can tell you that He is worthy of our adoration, worthy of our praise, worthy of all we can give. But those are just my words. I encourage you to find out for yourself.

This coming Sunday, go back to church. Not because going to church pleases God but because church is one place you learn ABOUT God. Yes, church is full of broken people, broken people just like you. Don't let Easter be the one day you pretend to honor God. This coming Sunday . . . rejoin the crowd.

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Jennifer Meyer-Aguilat - April 8th, 2015 at 6:58 AM
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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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