Now What?

It seems longer, but it was only a week ago that multitudes of us were in the midst of planning our Easter celebrations. A kind of holiday atmosphere prevailed in much of the country that included attending special church services, along with a kaleidoscope of other activities. The familiar marketing frenzy had been in high gear for weeks promoting things that have nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity. But Resurrection Sunday is more than just a religious observance for committed followers of Jesus. For them, it’s one of those times when the implications of what happened during what many refer to as “Holy Week” take center stage. Many see it as a time for turning away from the incessant news of racial tensions, ideological divisions, and political confrontations and saying to all of them, “Not today.” 

Easter Reflections ~
Easter is a time to focus on some life-changing
Good News for a change, and Christians around the world highlighted that by gathering together to worship the risen Christ. Representatives of every nation, tribe, tongue, and people group met in churches, cathedrals, concert halls,now what.1a parks, and private homes with one theme in mind. They came to celebrate the power of life over death, love over fear, and hope over despair. It was a day filled with personal and collective praise, worship, and rejoicing. It was a day full of affirmations, renewals, and life-changing commitments. But that was last week – and now Easter’s over and it’s time to move on. Conditions have changed and that prompts a question that may have crossed the minds of some of those early disciples. The tomb is empty, and the Lord’s alive. Now what?

Our clocks and calendars have all moved on since last Sunday and for the most part, so have we. Another anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection is history now, and asking what comes next may seem irrelevant. We’ve enjoyed our celebration and shifted back into our familiar routines. That return to normal is not an unexpected adjustment, but is it the kind of reaction God really wanted to see from us? Is being the focus of our attention for a few days all He had in mind, or was He looking for something more? I think we know the answer to that question, but a “post-resurrection” trip back in time might help to make it clearer. 

Expanding the Vision ~
After Jesus fulfilled the Father’s redemptive promise, it was clear that His followers would have to adapt to a new definition of normal. Previous perspectives would not fit the path that lay ahead for them and adjustments would need to be made. For instance, they would need to now what.2aexpand their vision. Jesus’ life and earthly ministry had been constrained within a relatively small area. With one possible exception recorded, Jesus probably never traveled over 100 miles from the place where He was born, but that was about to change. When the stone was rolled away from that tomb and Jesus walked out, the entire world lay before Him, and He intended to reach out to
all of it. The hell He suffered, the death He died, and the life it made possible were not just for Jews or any other special people group. It was for anyone and everyone who would abandon their sins and trust Him. As John said so clearly:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16–17 NKJV)

The task was monumental and those commissioned to fulfill that objective were not equipped for it. They would face enemies stronger than they were, problems they couldn’t solve, and obstacles they couldn’t overcome. They needed information, power, and guidance they didn’t have. His presence with them was their only possibility of success, and that was one of the miraculous things His resurrection made possible. The transformation that took place in that tomb enabled Jesus to indwell each of them. Through His Spirit, He could now be with them all day, every day. He could give them the direction they would need when they didn’t know where to go. He could be the information they needed when they didn’t know what to say. He could give them the strength to stand when their strength failed. He, Himself through the Spirit of God would be their new definition of normal. 

Historical Evidence ~
If you wonder how well that might have worked, take a brief look at world history and take note of how Jesus’ message has marched through the world and left an indelible imprint of truth, righteousness, and justice in its wake. Review the list of tyrants, despots, andnow what.3 psychopathic rulers who have vowed to remove the Word of God and stamp out all who follow its teaching, and then check to see what the best selling book in all the world has been for hundreds of years. The rag-tag group of ordinary men and women who followed Jesus back then had no clue what Jesus’ answer to the “Now what?” question for each of them would be … and neither do we. But the same risen Lord who enabled them to do what they couldn’t do on their own is waiting to do that with us now, and we are in desperate need of Him. 

Easter 2023 found this country awash in more blatant exhibitions of unrestrained evil than anything that ever invaded my worst nightmares. The Christianity that we’ve been practicing for most of my life may be considered “normal,” but it has failed to protect truth, promote righteousness, and preserve justice. We have gradually become accustomed to the sins we used to preach against, and even if we don’t engage in them, we cease to oppose them. Marriage has become an irrelevant remnant of bygone days. Parents are denied authority regarding the welfare of their own children. We have allowed demonic influence to permeate our public educational system from kindergarten through graduate school. Virtually every form of media has become a platform for demeaning God’s principles and promoting twisted, unnatural alternatives. Isaiah’s words define us in so many ways:

Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands afar off;
For truth is fallen in the street,
And equity cannot enter.
So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. (Isaiah 59:14-15 NKJV)

A Challenging Situation ~
We’re facing enemies stronger than we are, problems we can’t solve, and obstacles we’re now what.4powerless to overcome. We need direction we don’t have, information we can’t find on Google, and courage we can’t generate – and going back to our old definition of normal will only ensure more defeat. So what do we do? 

Well, here’s a thought . . . Another Easter morning has passed, and the news hasn’t changed. The witnesses have testified. The evidence is clear. The tomb is still empty. Its former Occupant is waiting to have a personal conversation with each of us. Discovering our part in restoring the truth, righteousness, and justice that our nation cries out for begins by saying something like this to Him: 

“I believe the hell You suffered was meant for ‘me’, and I’m ready to abandon my sins and follow You.  So, here I am, Lord . . .  Now what?”

TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below.  Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . . 

    • “Jesus’ presence with them was their only possibility of success, and that was one of the miraculous things His resurrection made possible . . .  He, Himself through the Spirit of God would be their new definition of normal.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “The same risen Lord who enabled the rag-tag group of ordinary men & women who followed Jesus back then to do what they couldn’t do on their own is waiting to do that with us now, and we are in desperate need of Him.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “The Christianity we’ve been practicing for most of my life may be considered ‘normal’ now, but it has failed to protect truth, promote righteousness and preserve justice. We’ve gradually become accustomed to the sins we used to preach against.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  
    • “Easter 2023 found this country awash in more blatant exhibitions of unrestrained evil than anything that ever invaded my worst nightmares. We have gradually become accustomed to the sins we used to preach against.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 

Check out Ron’s book“Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” 

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© 2023 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to
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5 Responses to Now What?

  1. JD Wininger says:

    Such a powerful post sir. I’ve thought about the differences I’ll see tomorrow at church from last week (Easter) to this week. I thought about the people, the building, the message, etc. and what struck me the most was how the people will change. First, there’ll be fewer. It always happens twice per year. Easter and CHRISTmas sees many more CINOs show up to demonstrate their righteousness. I call them “two-timers” as that’s all you see those folks, two-times a year. There’ll be a few less flower arrangements and the praise band will go back to their “standards”. Both of those changes are okay with me though. The message? For me, the most important part of any church service. I thanked God that the whole, true Word of God would still be preached, that sin would still be called sin, and that an altar call will be made for all those who need to pour their heart out to God. Like you, the “normal” we see is far from the “normal” we once knew. Perhaps, as the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 ring loudly in our hearts, it’s time we return as a body of Christ to what we knew then and not what so many are willing to accept now. Well said my friend. Thank you and God’s blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for being slow getting to your gracious response, Brother, but so very blessed as always to sit down and absorb the spiritual vitamins that come wrapped in it. Like you, I’m anticipating a return to normal at our church, too. I wish I had the faith to believe that we’re going to see a repeat of the incredible outpouring we saw last week. What I do hope is that many of those thousands who gathered to worship with us over the course of the weekend had a personal encounter with the risen Christ. Beyond that, I hope they will demonstrate the fruit from that meeting wherever they go. Unfortunately, our fallen human nature will draw us back toward our previously established patterns. As I attempted to point out last week, our “normal Christianity” is what got us into this moral cesspool in the first place. As you know all too well, unless and until we begin to realize that following Jesus involves more than sitting on a pew a couple of hours a week and throwing a few bucks in the offering plate, the downward slide will only continue and get worse. But, thank God, there are still some of us who aren’t willing to throw in the towel and give up.

      It may come as a shock to you, but a few folks along the way have suggested that I’m a little south of “normal” myself, so I should get used to it. Unfortunately, just being a few bales short of a wagon load is not the kind of abnormality that God had in mind. But I’m endeavoring to put my talent in that direction to better use these days. Obviously, living a counter-cultural lifestyle is getting more and more challenging, but the One who called us can give us the courage we need, and courageous behavior is always contagious.

      So, Diane and I praise God for you and the unnatural stuff you do and tend to parade around for anybody to see. You look at cows and trees and bugs and see God’s fingerprints–then you sit down and write about it! Who does that?? First thing you know people like me will be trying to do that kind of stuff themselves. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • JD Wininger says:

        Funny, my prayer is that God can use me to one day become the powerful voice for His kingdom that you are my friend. I keep asking for God to make me more like my brother Mr. Ron when it comes to loving God and living out His purpose for our lives. God’s blessing sir; to both you and your lovely and wise Ms. Diane.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Here I am, Lord. Use me!”
    That is a desire that all of us need to express to Him and await His answer for our life’s direction going forward, Ron. Jesus can, and will, use each of us to further the glory of His kingdom if we accept Him and are willing to submit to His will.
    Blessings, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t be said any better, Martha. It’s not up to us to tell the One who created us what He should do with His creation. Like I’m sure you do, I pray daily that He will take sovereign control of what He died to redeem in every one of us. God bless you for your faithful allegiance to Him and for your constant encouragement to those of us who are in the fight with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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