An open letter to our guests this Easter

Worship_Area1In a just a few short days it will be Easter. Typically, many of our churches will have a larger than normal attendance as those who normally don’t frequent churches will come for the traditional religious celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Many will come out of a sense of familial duty. Going to church to celebrate Easter and Christmas is just “what we do”. Others will walk thru our doors because they have been cajoled by a spouse, a parent, or badgered by a friend or co-worker. To those, I say I am sorry; being nagged into action is, at the very least, annoying and demeaning. On the other hand though, I’m not sorry at all. While it may be nagging, it is an indication that someone genuinely cares for you.

Personally, I need to ask forgiveness of our twice a year attenders. I have been one of those pastors who are generally glad to see you on Easter and Christmas. I smile, shake your hand, and attempt to engage you in somewhat of a short conversation. I do want you here at church with us! Sadly, I also mock you behind your back. I am one of those who call you a “Chreaster Christian”. I am one of the pastors who have posted the service times for the Christmas services on Easter Sunday, and service times for Easter at Christmas in a passive-aggressive attempt to poke at your lack of attendance and commitment to Christ. I’m serious, please forgive me. Arrogance and condescension are not the attitudes which honor Christ, reflect His grace, or minister to you.

The reality is I am so very glad you are joining us. I love telling you the story of Christ’s birth at Christmas. It is with great joy and excitement that I have the privilege of telling you that Jesus died to pay the price for our guilt before God. I cannot dream up a greater honor than to assure you it is all true and can be trusted with your life and your eternity because Jesus was raised from the dead. It is an absolute pleasure to speak with you of these unimaginable truths any chance I get.

If I only get this moment with you twice a year, then so be it. Let’s do this every year at this time. I have no idea if you will ever embrace the message of good news offered through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but until the time you do or you are no longer around, I will; with thankfulness, not mocking, I promise…and I’ll make sure there is coffee for you and me to share.

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