Looking toward Celebration Sunday

To say that we live in unprecedented times is an understatement. Various areas of the economy — such as education, medicine, business and individual households — are undergoing unexpected change, coping and, sometimes, innovation.

Not surprisingly, Alabama Baptists are finding creative ways of continued obedience to the Great Commission. It is refreshing to see Alabama Baptist resolve and intentionality to obey Christ in the midst of this unusual time in the history of our nation and the world — even when, for the most part, the Body of Christ does not gather in person but meets online for worship, prayer, Bible study, evangelism and mutual encouragement.

In just a few days, the season of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter will prompt the need for further creativity from churches as they mark the most holy of all Christian observances, celebrating the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of our Lord.

Without Christ’s atoning sacrifice, there would be no forgiveness of sins. Without the Resurrection, there would be no promise of resurrection for those who trust Him as Savior and Lord.

These awesome and magnificent truths are worthy of proclamation year-round but especially so during this season when numerous churches are already experiencing attendance increases online than they had during previous in-person worship services. The audience for the Gospel seems more accessible than ever and needs to hear the Good News as always.

One blessing coming from all this is that Facebook Live, YouTube and other social media have indeed provided platforms where the Gospel is more accessible than ever. Facebook especially has been populated with a proliferation of video postings from churches that preach salvation through Christ as the only way to the Father and the Savior who alone can forgive sins and promise a home in heaven.

As we celebrate the sacred season of Easter, let’s look toward a future — after the pandemic diminishes– when there will be a memorable Celebration Sunday when Christians will rejoice anew in the “assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25).

Have you already imagined, as I have, what a Sunday of rejoicing that will be?

We do not yet know the time when the church of the Lord Jesus will once again be able to gather in church houses, but we can plan now — with great anticipation — to celebrate that special day.

In the meantime, let’s rejoice in what the Lord has done through the power of the Gospel, what He is already doing through His people during this era of uncertainty and challenge, and what He will do when we come together again in person for corporate worship as His obedient disciples.

Rick Lance
Matt. 6:33

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

Any requests for Rick Lance to speak in or visit your church should be directed to Billie Davis at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 253 or (334) 613-2253, [email protected]

For questions about Dr. Lance's Facebook and Twitter accounts or his blog site, you may contact his social media assistant, Keith Hinson, at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 289 or (334) 613-2289, [email protected]