“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
Have you ever seen one of those lists, “Ten Reasons to Go to Church?” They can sometimes be helpful, reminding us of the benefits and obligations of a believer. Yet they often miss the mark, too. Focusing on the social or personal benefits of worship, they can neglect what St. Paul calls the matter of “first importance”: Christ died; Christ rose; and Christ appeared to the disciples.
Whatever else we do in the Church, that proclamation stands at the front and center. For by undoing death (the “wages of sin”), God has canceled the power of sin, putting forgiveness to work in the flesh of Christ. By appearing to His disciples, Christ put this same forgiveness to work in His followers, sending them to preach it in His name.
What Christ preaches, He gives, and what He gives keeps giving. To preach the resurrection and rejoice in its benefits, and thus to ready the world for Him who will appear again—here is why we “go to Church,” or even better, why we are the Church.
LET US PRAY: Almighty Savior, triumphant over death: You live and rule above every authority in heaven and earth, and yet You are pleased to dwell among those who trust in You. How tender Your mercy, how comforting Your power! May Your Name be praised into eternity, even by my own lips; for You are the beloved Son of the Father, in the glory of the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen
Pastor Steven K. Gjerde