When it was proposed that each staff member write about the best Easter they ever experienced, I thought back. Last year we had the greatest attendance ever at Northeast on Easter. For the first time we had over 300 people attend worship!
I remembered the first Easter at my first pastorate. The church had a tradition of gathering before dawn, going out to the local cemetery, having a brief devotional, and then returning to the church for a big breakfast. Carol and I got our preschool daughters up early that morning before dawn and dressed them warmly. At the church we all piled into the old red church bus. At the cemetery we gather around the grave of a former patriarch of the church. The wind is blowing, the atmosphere is damp, and we’re all about to freeze standing on the open, windswept hill. Needless to say, I abbreviated my comments and we quickly boarded on the bus to go to church for a great breakfast. I think that was the last sunrise service I ever led or attended!
As a child I remember my sisters had new dresses and I got new shoes, shirt, and pants for Easter services. Do people still do that today?
In thinking back to past Easter services, it occurred to me that the “Best Easter Ever” for me is about to occur. A few weeks ago at a staff retreat my phone was going crazy with dings. I thought, “Why is my family trying to reach me? They know I’m on a staff retreat.” I made some comment to that effect as I went to turn it off, and Brady, my son-in-law and our music minister, said, “They are responding to a message from Sally Kate that she was saved this afternoon!” Sally is my six-year-old granddaughter. Well, that changed everything! I have the great joy of baptizing her this Easter.
But that’s not all. I’d been praying for my eight-year-old grandson Carter to be saved. I’d had a conversation with him about receiving Christ last year, but he wasn’t ready. I talked to his mother and said it would be a great joy if Carter could be baptized with Sally on Easter. I sent him a children’s tract to explain how to become a Christian. He read it with his dad and mom and they helped him understand the commitment to Christ. On my way back from Canada, last week, Carter called to tell me he is now a Christian! He will also be baptized on Easter Sunday!
For a Christian our best days are never in our past. Our best days are always before us. What could be greater than God dividing the Red Sea to rescue the Israelites from the murderous intent of the Egyptians? How about God raising Jesus from the dead? How about that one day being my experience? Yes, my best Easter ever is definitely yet to come!
Dr. Ed Sasnett is the Senior Pastor at Northeast and is very excited to be baptizing his grandchildren on Easter!