Momentum. Mass times velocity. A measure of how much motion something has. The property that makes it more difficult to stop a moving object.
Basketball commentators talk about how momentum can have such an enormous impact on a game. When one team has momentum every shot they put up seems to go in, and anything the other team tries to do to stop them seems ineffective.
Churches have momentum, as well. A church in motion is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and Easter is certainly a season that can provide that momentum. When the energy of the Spirit is flowing freely within, among, and through the people of the church, it’s hard to stop it!
Easter Sunday launches us into a season that lasts fifty days, taking us right up to Pentecost Sunday. Our resurrection celebration is not a culmination, it is a transition. It moves us from one season (Lent) into another (Easter). And with that launch into the Easter Season, we feel the momentum of new life.
That's not to be "Pollyannish" about life. There's no denying that there are difficult days, there is pain and anger, there is grief and sorrow, there is fear and anxiety. I don't mean that we can just eliminate all of that with a more positive outlook on life. That's naive.
I'm simply pointing out that one of the qualities of momentum is the kind of "self-fulfilling" aspect of it. Back to the basketball metaphor - when one player is "feeling it," her or his confidence is contagious; the entire team starts to feel it as well, and shots start falling for everyone. Why does that happen? The players certainly don't get magically more skilled. Rather, they start "greeting" their own opportunities to score with the same level of confidence as their teammate has. And the entire team starts feeling the momentum.
I think churches can do the same thing. One person (or one group of people) can be "feeling it" in a church, and that energy and passion spreads quickly to others, until soon the entire congregation is renewed. It can all start by changing how we are "greeting" every moment. And guess what? YOU could be that person!
In so doing, you would be feeding the momentum of Easter: the “mass” of our gifts and graces times the “velocity” of the Holy Spirit all around us. Easter is a launching pad for churches, and it starts with the greeting.
So let’s go, church! Keep up the momentum! Christ is alive, and so are we!
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