My Easter Hope

2017-03-28 10.59.42.pngI grew up Catholic but when I went to college I stopped going to mass. The only time I remember going was during Holy Week (Holy Week leads up to Easter). I attended a Maundy/Holy Thursday service.  I went because I thought I might witness the Stations of the Cross. They did not give the Stations that evening. I missed it and it is one of the traditions that I miss from my Catholic days. I did not go the next day of any other day afterward. I thought, “this may be last time I go to church.” Little did I know, God had different plans.

This Easter your church may have a college student, a young family, a middle-aged person who may have a distant memory of church that will attend your worship services. I think this is a great opportunity to welcome them with the hospitality of Christ.

Welcome home!

Lay out the welcome mat. Go out of your way to receive them. Say, “We are so glad you are here.” Park in the space far from the building, smile and wave, shake hands, move to the center of the isle, help people who look lost to find their way to a seat or to the kid’s ministry or the nursery. Invite someone to lunch. Invite them back next week.

Don’t complain if your seat is taken or the place is packed.

I have heard stories of church leadership getting up and scolding people who came to Easter service for only coming once a year. Sadly, what they thought was their opportunity to convict became an opportunity to condemn. They missed the mark. They missed an opportunity to bless.

You want your seat to be taken and you want the place to be packed. Do you know why? Because someone you invited may actually come. Welcoming people started days before Easter because you began seeing people throughout your day as someone who would be blessed by attending Easter service with you.

Easter is great time for people who have been away from their faith to attend but it is also an opportunity for someone who has never followed Jesus to experience him with His gathered people, the church. The person who has a semblance of faith from years before may have married someone who has no faith history, and they will be at your church. They may be at church because their out of town relatives are in town.  They may be from your community.

They have different motives and different histories. But they will all be gathered under one roof. It’s going to be a big, awkward, beautiful mess. That’s were God gets focused. The cross is a beautiful mess. It’s also what brings Easter into focus for us.

Easter is for people! All people! That’s what Jesus was focused on when he was on the cross. His love for the world is why he did not remain in the earth. That is why the grave is empty. Easter is THE person, THE God who went through THE event, that is THE hope of the world.

Someone may come to your church and think, “This is the only time I am coming,” but God may have different plans for them. Their decision may change depending on how your church receives them. They just might begin or begin anew a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This is my Easter hope.

What is your Easter hope?


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Jovan preaches for the Littleton Church of Christ near Denver, Colorado. Visit here to listen to sermons preached at the Littleton Church. 

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10 thoughts on “My Easter Hope

  1. I love that you have shared your history! Easter is such a special time and perfect for new beginnings. I am praying for God’s abundant presence in our church on Easter morning. Blessings!

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  2. Dear ex-Catholic. Hopefully you could take lots of time to think about all the heathen rites in that Catholic Church and all the contradictions they have with the Biblical teachings, though we have the impression you haven’t taken enough time to read the Bible perhaps.

    We do pray you might find the Only One True God Who is One and not three, and that you may find a church where you can come to celebrate the feasts God has given and who can show you why we should not celebrate Easter nor Halloween or Christmas.

    Easter for sure is not like you say “for All people!” That pagan feast with Easter eggs and Easter bunnies has nothing to do “with what Jesus was focused on when he was on the cross”.

    Strangely enough you have seemed to have been stuck by your Catholic upbringing and worse even coming to say “Easter is THE person, THE God who went through THE event, that is THE hope of the world.” making two big faults, first of all God cannot die and is an eternal Spirit no man can see, whilst Jesus is the sent one from God, the son of man and the only begotten son of God, not a godson.
    Secondly Jesus, who died on a wooden stake, after three days in hell (the grave) was taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father. Jesus did not lift himself up, neither at his resurrection nor when he was taken up in heaven, by God, to come to sit at the right Hand of God to become a mediator between God and man.

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    • Thanks for reading. You are welcome to address me by my name (Jovan). I assume we are brothers in Christ. I would address you by yours but your account is anonymous.

      When I use the word Easter I am using a term that my culture (and many others) associates with the resurrection story. I believe we can use Easter for the purpose of witnessing Christ to a dying world. Easter (the resurrection of Christ) IS for all people. I’m sure you agree. I speak of Jesus as God (in the flesh) to represent the Trinity. Jesus is God in the flesh (John 1:1,14). We seem to disagree on the Trinity.

      Yes, God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9) but so did the Spirit (Romans 8:11). I advocate that the Trinity was involved in the resurrection.

      Grace and peace.

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      • Dear Jovan,
        When you use Easter like the Catholics use it and celebrate it not on 14-22 Nisan, (14 Nisan in 2017 on April 10) the day God has given to His people, but on the day of the goddess Eostre, than it is on the heathen or pagan holiday.

        John’s opening to his gospel does not say at all that Jesus would be God in the flesh. It tells that the Word spoken by God, in the garden of Eden, became a reality, by the birth of Jesus. God’s speaking, His Word having come unto conclusion, it was that promise, the son of man Jesus who came into the flesh, not God.

        God is Spirit, so when God would raise Jesus from the dead we also can say the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.

        Nowhere in the Bible is a Trinity preached, but is clearly said there is only One true God, the God of Israel, Who is the heavenly Father of Jesus and not Jesus. Jesus is the son of God and not a god son.

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      • The word is not a person but the result of speaking. In the grden of Eden God spoke about a solution against the curse of death, and that solution can be found in the man who was born in 4 B.C.E., rabbi Jeshua. With the birth of Jesus Christ God’s speaking, His Word came in fulfilment and the word became flesh: the man of flesh, bones and blood, who is the sent one from God and the Way to God, not God himself.

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