In case Pastor Brian is reading this… “Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!”
Now for everyone else (a special shout out to Carlyn Cooper, who is a faithful reader and supporter) who may not know what that’s all about, I’ll use the rest of this post to explain. It’s actually a very simple story. I attended church today with dad (Rick) and listened quietly to the progressions of the church service. There were less than twenty people in the church including Pastor Brian, so clearly the place was packed.
Anyway, during Pastor’s sermon he exclaimed “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!” Now I know the proper response is “Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!” and I even said it in my mind in response to him. But I never let the words past my lips. And I wasn’t the only one, either. If anyone did say the response, I didn’t catch it. Luckily Pastor Brian is comfortable enough with even such a tremendous crowd that he called us on it. The congregation managed a response, and the sermon progressed along.
Yet here’s the thing that troubles me. In a room full of people who were clearly there to praise the Risen Lord, no one spoke up. I didn’t speak up. Why is that? Why is it so hard to express my love of God, my trust in faith, that I didn’t let those words escape when I knew them? Following with that, how am I expected to proclaim God’s message to others who aren’t believers if I can’t even manage it with people who already believe?
I generally don’t consider myself to be a natural leader. I’m totally comfortable with letting others lead the way if they would rather do it. In fact there are many times when I fear a leadership position. Yet when it truly comes down to it, I’m usually good for stepping up and filling that role. Honestly, I think that’s a good position to be in as a pastor because you’re not afraid to let God lead you, or to let others pick up on ideas and run with them.
Yet this time I faltered in stepping up. Is it that I’m still so afraid of drawing attention to myself? Perhaps. But still, it emphasized the fact that there’s a lot of personal growth left to achieve before I’m ready to go out there on my own and lead others. Hopefully some day I’ll be as cool and smooth as the other Pastors out there. And when someone comes up to me and says “I’d never be able to do what you do” I can show them this post and honestly say “I didn’t think I’d be able to do it either.”
I hope if there is anyone out there reading this that feels the same way, that at times you are too afraid to step forward, that you understand that I’m right there with you. Don’t be afraid to speak up even if no one else is saying what needs to be said. I hope that next time I’ll be able to prove myself by trusting in God, rather than worrying about myself. If you feel the same way, maybe knowing there’s someone else out there that’s with you in the struggle will help you out.
Who knows, the next time one of the pastors says “Alleluia, Christ is risen!” maybe we’ll both/all stand up together and proudly declare “Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!” God Bless!