I recently attended a retreat and as I perused the women sitting in the large circle, I became curious as to the journey each of them took to arrive in that particular seat, in this particular location, “for such a time as this.”
Later that day, I conducted a scientifically lacking survey and simply asked several women how they ended up at our retreat. Not surprisingly, the majority of them said they were invited by someone else. They were personally invited. One lady read an advertisement on Facebook; another saw it in the church bulletin. The majority, however, were invited by a friend or fellow church or Bible study attendee.
The beginning of Holy Week stirs up many personal thoughts as I spend a few extra minutes each morning contemplating what this week looked like to Jesus. As I ponder His suffering and agony and anticipation of becoming broken for us, I am also reminded of my friends and neighbors who haven’t yet experienced His great love for our very broken world.
How do they go on? How do those without a personal relationship and faith in Jesus continue to walk in this fallen world with all the aches, pains and hopelessness that would naturally accompany a journey through this life? These are questions I find myself wrestling with often as I look out my window and walk down my street, realizing the hurt and disappointment and suffering that takes place behind the wreath-decorated doors with spring flowers blooming in the buckets on the front porches.
If I really believe Jesus’ death and resurrection makes all the difference in my life, and He is the only real Hope in this world, why am I not more intentional to share His love with the hurting friends and neighbors God has placed in my life?
Easter Sunday quickly approaches. My prayer is that I will use this week to really engage in conversation with my neighbors and to offer them the Hope I’ve experienced that I know only comes from a relationship with Jesus.
People are more likely to visit a church (or any gathering) where they personally know someone else who attends. A warm and genuine invitation is often all it takes to move someone from thinking about attending church to walking through the doors.
Will you join me over the next few days in praying for opportunities to share with our friends and neighbors, for that unexpected meet-up at the mailbox or bus stop, for the inconvenience of running out of sugar and being brave enough to knock on the door to ask our neighbor if we can borrow a cup? Because I’m asking, I’m expecting God to provide an easy and natural way for me to connect and invite a friend to church on Sunday. According to Lifeway Research, Easter is the most popular church attendance day on the calendar. Let’s seize Resurrection Day and offer Hope to those we know!