Easter Sunday :: Dodge-ball, Jesus and Shock & AWE

Inside the Catedral de Merida.  City of Merida, Yucatan, MexicoI don’t think folks who follow Christ today have enough AWE in their lives.

Having grown up in a Catholic family that went to mass off and on, more off than on, over the years while growing up.  I have vivid memories of staring at Christ on the cross.  It wasn’t till I was a bit older that I came to understand what Christ’s death meant.  I learned that Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of the world.  That’s all I knew.

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.  Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, MexicoInside El Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

When I was traveling around Turin, Italy, back in the summer of 2005, I had a chance to wander into a few Catholic churches and just chill.  It was a nice break from the summer heat plus it was nice to just soak in the magnitude of some of these churches.

Much in the same way, over the last few years of visiting Mexico I’ve had the chance to visit a few national cathedrals and churches, and just like those in Italy…they are huge!  I do know that they are gigantic by design.  Walking in you can’t help but see how big God is and how small we are.  

Today, you walk into most churches and what you feel is___________(fill in the blank).  What you don’t feel is a sense of AWE!  Considering many churches today are designed to be a multi-use facility….Church on Sunday, and dodge ball on Monday.  It’s not hard to see why.

Outside of the Catedral de Oaxaca (aka Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca)

The Catholic church in many countries, including Mexico, tend to emphasize the struggle, pain, and brutality of Christ’s death on the Cross.  In countries where poverty, hunger and need are part of your everyday life, it’s easy to associate with a Savior who was brutally killed and hung on the Cross on our behalf.

In the US church we like to remember the God of grace who welcomed the little children and who tells us the greatest thing is to Love.  We don’t like to think about what Christ had to endure on the Cross for us!  The reality is, He had to die in order to pay the price for our sin.  His death and resurrection is what allows us to have access to God, to have eternal life.

There needs to be a balance.  I’m not advocating we meditate solely on the gruesomeness of Christ’s death on the Cross.  But we need to remember the cost of our salvation.  The Son of God was crucified for us.

It’s easier to feel His presence inside a Sanctuary that you feel dwarfed in, that shows how big God really is.  There’s nothing wrong with multi-purpose sanctuaries.  After all, the “church” is more than just a building…right?

Whether your worshiping in San Diego or in Mexico…  Let’s not get bogged down with details like worship style, what kind of sanctuary you have, if you kneel or don’t knell, does your sanctuary have a cross or not… what matter’s is the heart.  Is your life and heart sold out for Jesus?

Christ died and rose again that we might have life!

I believe a little more Shock & Awe in the lives of those who call themselves followers of Christ is a good thing.  Christ was a rebel who choose to do things differently, who was not satisfied with good enough.  Mediocrity sucks!  Don’t settle!!

I hope this was a great Easter for everyone!

He is risen indeed!!

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