In the "ole days" of church life, Easter was an opportunity to invite family and friends to the Easter event or special service. The numbers would swell on that Sunday morning causing all of us to feel good about the "impact" we were having. Those visitors would not return until the following Easter, and the next week's attendance returned to what it was before, nevertheless we would approach every Easter as another opportunity to "reach people."
So here is my question: Is Easter still an opportunity? Rather than invite people to an event or to some thing, is it an opportunity to invite someone or some people into our life?
Bear with me while I process this thought.
For several years, our house churches tended to shy away from anything that looked like an event. Therefore, we tended to hole up on Easter and celebrate the day among our own communities and friends. This was comfortable, different, and enjoyable in many ways though it did feel a bit cloister-like.
Last year we changed things up and did a bit of a throwback to the ole days: we threw an event as a group. We held an outdoor Easter party in a beautiful setting and invited friends who were not "churching" anywhere. Again, it was a mixed blessing. The event was fun, people had a good time, but I am not sure that any meaningful connections resulted. This may have been our own fault in regressing back into an event-mentality: throw the event, make it good, then go home.
So, I ask the real question one more time: Is Easter an opportunity to invite someone or some people into our life? In other words, perhaps the Easter opportunity, if there is one, is not so much about them as it is about us. Is this an opportunity to get out of our comfortable boxes and remind ourselves once again that God has involved us, through our everyday lives, with people whom we can choose to receive more fully into our lives? Is this an opportunity for us, one more time, to think incarnationally: live among, build relationship, invite into our life.
This concept is really not about Easter but about every day and every week of our lives. Nevertheless, it might be fun to brainstorm and share ideas/experiences on how Easter might still be an opportunity if it can be used to invite people into our life.
- An Easter party of some kind that is done from the heart and freed up from an event-mentality
- Inviting one person/couple to share Easter with you and your family in your home around brunch.
- Taking someone an Easter gift; let them know ahead of time that you are coming.
- Or, or, or?
I am not trying to come up with strategies for "targeting" people; rather, I just want to spark our imaginations a bit, move us outside of old ways of thinking, and help us engage our own creative processes in living into the world around us with love and care. Perhaps this is the real opportunity.
With that in mind, please do share any/all thoughts you have on this...