I don’t know about your church home, but I do know about ours.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, or as in some other faiths, Resurrection Sunday, we held two services.
Ordinarily, we only have a single service.
A goodly number attended our seldom scheduled first service, but the second service seemed to be filled wall-to-wall.
Both services welcomed a number of faces new to those of us who’ve been around awhile, some visiting with families, and others visiting for the first time.
But there were also those faces we see once, maybe twice a year — at Christmas and Easter.
The joy yesterday among those in attendance was palpable.
Every voice lifted in praise, honor and glory to Christ the King, and each voice giving Thanksgiving to God the Father for the gift of His Son. Our children’s choir and handbell line offered special music. The choir was larger than usual, and our Fellowship Hall barely held us all as we enjoyed coffee hour between the two services.
Why isn’t every Sunday like Easter?
- Is it because we, the “regulars,” are more welcoming on Easter?
- Is it because we, the “regulars,” take part on a more active level?
- Is it because we, the “regulars,” go all out with an expanded coffee hour that is longer and filled with more greeting and welcoming than usual?
- Is it because more visitors attend and lend their voices to ours, the “regulars?”
- Is it because of the preparation and planning that goes before Easter Sunday?
- Is it because we grow complacent once the high celebration is over and we go back to our mundane existences and roles?
I believe it is more of the last two points above than any of the others, but apply these to your congregation and consider them as you see fit.
High celebrations, like Christmas and Easter, at least in our church, also require extra preparation and planning that doesn’t take place during other times in the year. Celebrating Easter actually begins with Ash Wednesday and moves toward Lent and on into Holy Week.
Last week we held three services during the week: first, a prayer vigil before a prayer wall sponsored by our youth; then Maundy Thursday; and finally, Good Friday. All of these took much thought, prayer and preparation by someone or multiple someones.
Not to mention the prayer and preparation that went into Sunday morning with two services, an almost hour-long coffee hour between, ushering, extra bulletins, Communion at both services, music, flowers, and more.
Why the difference? Here’s where we come to complacency.
We, “the regulars,” tend to think about stepping up during the special times. Otherwise, we leave planning and preparation to the core group of people who are known to always be willing and available. And it’s easier to just come in on Sunday morning, take a bulletin, and pray from the pew before the service or visit with friends. Then we can follow along without too much effort until the benediction is spoken.
Think about the difference between yesterday, Easter Sunday, and other Sundays in your church home. Can you imagine what the response by visitors would be if every Sunday were like yesterday? If every Sunday reflected such joy, praise and thanksgiving? If every Sunday held such warm welcomes and greetings?
Dear friends, every day should be a Resurrection Celebration. After all, He died to save us from our sins, and the result is that we are loved abundantly without question if only we give Him our hearts.
Q4U: What about your church home? Is there a distinguishable difference between Sundays like Easter and the ones around Christmas? Is there a reason that you can see clearly for the difference?
Blessings along your journey with Him,