The Easter eggs are all stuffed, sorted and bagged. Dinner is planned, a grocery list is prepared. Now it is time for me to sit back and pray for the days ahead. Easter is not an easy holiday for some. It is full of convictions, uneasiness and guilt. For those who do not attend church regularly it can be a day full of anxiety and worry. Do I have on the right clothes? Do I have the correct Bible? Am I taking communion right? Where do I give money? Do I have to give money? What if the preacher looks at me while he is speaking? Do I have to shake his hand? Are my kids being good in class?
I will spend the next couple days praying for those who are in this situation, because they need Jesus just like I do. They need to see the very best of Him, in me and my church. They need an encouraging smile, a hug, and a hand shake. They need a kind word, an invitation back and some love.
I keep hearing a derogatory term that describes those who come to worship on Christmas and Easter....and I find it offensive. I have been guilty of saying it before, and I am very sorry for that. Instead of labeling someone, something we are very good at, why aren't we loving them instead? We pray for people we do not know all the time. We love people we have never met before. We touch the lives of strangers everyday- the opportunities are endless. Yet these people come into our churches, sit in our seats and praise with us and we give them nothing in return. They are coming TO US. We aren't inviting them, encouraging them, searching for them. They just show up, because for some reason they know this day is more important than the rest. They know enough to bring them here. We should love them enough to make them want to stay.
This Easter week as we prepare to go worship with our people and spend time with our Lord, we should be praying for the right words and actions to reach out to someone new, to make them feel more welcome than ever. Our place can be their place. Our Jesus is their Jesus. We just need to make sure they see Him in us. We need to do what He would do and love them where they are so they can move on to where He wants them to be.
Have a very blessed and safe Easter.