We’ve arrived once again to the glory of Holy Week. And as Easter Sunday draws closer, it is good to remind ourselves of ways we can bless those who don’t normally attend Calvary on this highest attended service of the year.
I am grateful that I am a part of a church like Calvary, where you already do a wonderful job of this. I hear quite frequently from guests, and newer regular attenders and members, that part of what drew them in to Calvary was the friendliness of our church family. So, many of these reminders are things many of you are already pretty good at.
That said, it’s always good to be freshly encouraged in ways that we can make a Good News impression on guests with just a few simple acts. Which was exactly the goal for Thom Ranier as he wrote Nine Considerations for Church Members on Easter, in the hopes that we would all remember that we “have an opportunity to make an eternal difference.” Here are eight of them:
- Pray as you enter the property. Pray for the guests. Pray for the services. Pray for the pastor and the sermon.
- Park at the most distant spot available. Save the closer parking places for guests.
- Greet people. They may be guests. They may be members. It’s okay to introduce yourself to either.
- Look for people to help. You know the place well. Many others will not. Be a guide. Help someone who looks like he or she needs help.
- Sit as close as possible to the front of the worship center. Save the back rows for guests and late entrants, so they don’t have to walk past so many people.
- Sit in the middle. Don’t claim that aisle seat where people have to walk over you or past you.
- Sit closely. Your worship center may be packed. If so, be willing to sit cheek to cheek.
- Pray as you leave. The Holy Spirit is likely working in many persons who attended. Pray for His continual work of conviction and comfort.
“These are simple acts, family. They are acts of service. And if you survive doing these acts of kindness and service on Easter, you just might be able to do them on other days of worship as well.”
I am looking forward to celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of our King at our Good Friday service (7pm) and our Easter Sunday service (10:30am) with you this weekend.
The Lord is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
As the Bible is an ancient text, it makes sense that much of it is a recording of history. But to respond by merely reading it as a textbook would be a mistake, for this is history written with a very particular purpose. Namely, it is a theological history — its authors, under the inspiration of God, make theological arguments by the way they tell the stories, and what they include in them.
King of My Heart (Samuel part two)
It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
Samuel Part One
As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.
Two weeks ago, we spent our Sunday morning gathering in the book of the Judges. It describes a time in the nation of Israel of great darkness, disobedience, destruction, and dystopia. It was a time, states the last sentence in the story, when “there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). It was very disturbing.