Easter People

Rev. Joshua Patty
Regional Minister and President

There is such hope in the Easter season, a reminder of God’s promises and the ways that they come to life before our eyes – like so many things in springtime. We hunger for this hope, given all of the darkness and hardships of these days.

The challenge is that church can be as much a reminder of what’s broken as what’s healed. It’s easy to point out things we’ve lost in the past few years. Plus, “the Great Resignation” has touched the church – many of us can name people who no longer participate. It’s impossible not to miss them.

But what if we are also missing glimpses of life before our eyes. Compared to other parts of American society, the church is faring better. People continue to give generously to and through the church. Some ministers have resigned, but a far smaller percentage than have left other professions. Some people have pulled back, but many people have determinedly found ways to worship and serve in Jesus’ name.  

For years, people have been writing obituaries for the church and most congregations. In recent months, there are obvious signs of loss. We should not pretend otherwise. But I wonder if our grief is clouding our vision for the ways Christ’s church is very much alive – loving, forgiving, serving, working for justice, welcoming, seeking peace.

I invite you to look again, in the light of Easter. Do you see signs of life? Do you see people sharing God’s love? To be worthy of the name Christian, we cannot just claim resurrection. Instead, we must be Easter people, embodying the life and love and light of Christ.