Let’s just get something straight: Easter is not for Christians.
And all God’s people gasped in unified protestation…”SAY WHAT??? So who exactly is Easter for then, pray tell?”
Well…that guy of course. Easter is for that dirty guy that reeks of alcohol who is passed out under the 9th street bridge. Easter is for that gal with innumerable track marks marring her arms. Easter is for that loud, lazy, crass, abrasive coworker whom you cannot stand. Easter is for that girl making money by selling her body on a stage…or a street corner. Easter is for that struggling single mom wearing the ‘F YOU’ shirt who just can’t bring herself to believe in a loving God. Easter is for that homosexual couple that the church has completely alienated. Easter is for the people we judge, look down upon, or see right through. Easter is for the Buddhist, the Jew, and the Hindu. Easter is for the abused, the lonely, the abandoned, and the hopeless.
Easter is not for the found; Easter is for the lost!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8
If you are a follower of Christ, you have already (praise God) been introduced to and received the free gift of life! But for the rest of the world…
God commanded us: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” ~Mark 16:15
Our ‘job’ is to tell the whole world about Jesus. What we fail to realize is that more often than not, the whole world is already sitting right there beside us – at work, on the street, at the grocer, in the restaurant. We don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to find people who are hurting and desperately need the love of God. They are right there looking you in the face already.
Easter and Christmas may be the only two times of year when many folks are open to walking through those intimidating doors and having the seed of life planted. And our commission as followers of Christ is clear; to spread the Good News to the whole world!!
It breaks my heart (as it should yours) to think many of them will turn and walk right back out those doors without ever hearing the Truth because we (the body) were too absorbed in our decorations, fancy clothes, and egg-laying rabbits to fulfill our calling on the most important day of our year. Easter is not about rabbits and colored eggs (although I have absolutely no problem with people who enjoy those traditions). It is about something much, much more beautiful and essential – life.
We have things to do, dresses to don, hams to cook, chocolate bunnies to eat, eggs to find, baskets to explore. We make ourselves so busy looking the well-groomed Christian part that we forget what our part in all of this really is. Worshipping Christ. Sharing Christ. Serving Christ.
His plans; not ours.
There are five basic things every Christian should do on Easter:
1) INVITE SOMEONE: We are surrounded by people who will never walk through the doors simply because no one ever asked; and frankly, going to a new church is a lot less intimidating when you have someone you know to show you the ropes. Plus it makes it a little harder to back out when someone is waiting for you there, or better yet taking you. I mean, I love the heck out of Jesus, and I always feel uncomfortable and intimidated by the pomp and circumstance. I cannot imagine what it is like for someone who feels broken to walk through those doors for the first time. It is true that you may get 50 no’s, but you may get one yes…and one beautiful precious life is worth it, isn’t it! Jesus cares about the one…and so should we.
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” ~Luke 15:1-7
2) VOLUNTEER: This Sunday every church in the nation will be heavy on attendance….and light on volunteers. How many people walk out of the door because there is only one volunteer to every 30-40 children? Or at the very least…never come back. How many people walk out of the door…or at the least never come back…because not a single person greets them with a smile and a conversation? How many people walk out of the door because they cannot find a seat and there are not enough ushers to assist them? This is your time to be that beacon on the hill, Church. This is the only opportunity many will ever afford to have the seed planted in their hearts. You can water that seed and give it a chance to grow…or you can trample it into the rocks! Show others that they matter! Serve with a glad heart and willing hands!
“Serve the Lord with gladness!” ~Psalms 100:2
3) SAVE THE BEST PARKING SPOTS AND BEST SEATS: Many never even make it through the doors of the church. Unless you have a physical disability precluding the ability to do so, you should park in another adjacent lot or at the back of the lot or even carpool with others. The more welcoming and alluring the visit, the more likely the lost will find the doors (and God willing be found themselves)! Driving around a packed lot for 20 minutes without a single open spot (or at least a lot attendant) is a sure deterrent to hearing the Truth. And if they finally find that spot and actually make it into the building only to find there is standing room only….well what would you do?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” Phil 2:3
4) GREET SOMEONE/HAVE A CONVERSATION: There is nothing more overwhelming than walking into a crowded room of sour stern faces and knowing absolutely no one. Where do you sit…are those seats saved for the regulars? Am I sitting and standing at the right times? Being lonely while surrounded by people is one of the worst humiliating feelings in the world. So change it! Plaster that smile on your face (even if the kid’s spilled orange juice on their new outfits that morning, your dog puked on the carpet from eating too many ‘hidden’ eggs, and you had to walk a mile to get to the front doors) and show them they are welcome! Because when people matter…when they find a place where people care about them…they will be drawn back. It is an innate desire of our hearts, to be seen. If you see your neighbor without a Bible reach under you seat and hand her one! If you see someone looking for a seat, move down and openly invite him to sit with you. When you see that frazzled mom (and oh will you ever!) with little children looking frustrated, confused, and lost, offer to help check her kids in and show them around. These are the building blocks of love, and love is what the Cross is all about.
“Greet one another with the kiss of love.” ~1 Peter 5:14
5) LEAVE YOUR JUDGMENT AT THE DOOR: When you see the man covered from head to toe with tattoos, the woman with the skirt you perceive to be too short, the man with the ‘inappropriate,’ logo on his shirt, or the woman who looks like she just rolled off the park bench sitting in your pews, do not judge. Do not look down upon them. Do not turn them away. Do not sit somewhere else. Greet them, love them, praise God that He crossed your paths with theirs, and tell them how incredibly loved they are by the God of all creation!
Because that person…is who Easter is truly for.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Cor 5:15
HAPPY EASTER CHURCH!! HE IS RISEN!
Beautifully, Brokenly Yours,