We have just celebrated Easter. This year when I preached, I called Easter: “All In Sunday.” Allow me to explain. I was about seven-years-old when my family got our first TV. There were not a lot of programs on then. My two brothers and I loved the Cowboy Shows. Gene Audrey, Roy Rogers, Hop-a-long Cassidy were our heroes to name a few. Often during one of the shows, there was a scene in a Western Saloon where a poker game was taking place. The game would be very tense because the cowboys were playing for high stakes. Usually there was a moment when one of the players would push all his chips into the middle of the table and say: “I’m all in!” It was a very dramatic moment.
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When my brothers and I learned to play poker, our father bought us poker chips for Christmas one year. We felt like we were real cowboys. When we played, one of us would always be looking for the chance to say: “I’m all in.” When it happened the other two had to figure out if he was bluffing or not.
Easter Sunday is really “All in Sunday“. We either believe that Jesus rose from the dead, or we don’t. If we do believe, we have to be all in when it comes to living our belief. Being all in must affect every decision we make. St. Paul said that if Jesus did not rise from the dead then we are the most pitiable of people because we were lied to. Consider the following:
Why have your child baptized if Jesus did not rise?
Why get confirmed if Jesus did not rise?
Why go to religious education classes or youth group if Jesus did not rise?
Why get married in the church if Jesus did not rise?
Why take religious vows if Jesus did not rise?
Why become a priest if Jesus did not rise?
Why spread the Good News if Jesus did not rise?
Why put your life on the line for other people if Jesus did not rise?
We either believe or we are faking it. It is either all in or you are bluffing. Just like a poker game, Jesus will call our bluff when we say we are all in.
The Easter Season lasts 50 days.
Take every opportunity to fortify your all in and you will be blessed.
Happy All In Season, and remember: TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD.