Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring has sprung...

On my walk the other morning, there was a definite change in the air. I heard more birds singing than I had in a long time, the air temperature was decidedly more warm than in previous days, robins were digging up worms in my yard and on Main Street, trees were blooming with pink blossoms. Even I can figure out spring has sprung. The time has changed over to daylight savings time and my body is trying to adjust now to it being dark again when I take my high school son to school. What all this means in church life is that Easter will be upon us in a very short period of time. I love spring and I love Easter because we have the occasion to celebrate our risen Savior’s death, burial and resurrection.

The Easter season is a busy time in church life as we head into Palm Sunday when our choir and orchestra will sing and play the songs of the cross, we’ll observe the Lord’s Supper as part of that presentation in a special way and proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen indeed. On Good Friday, we’ll have our annual noontime service when many people from our community will come to Calvary to reflect on the cross and our Savior who laid down His life there and then share a fellowship meal together. Saturday will bring our annual pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt and then on Resurrection Sunday we will celebrate Jesus. The whole week will be an amazing time of worship, celebration and fun.

There are a number of ways for you to get involved. First and foremost is to begin to pray for God to speak to people who have not placed their faith and trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. Easter is a prime time of year to invite people to church and they will come, they’ll hear the wonderful Gospel message and by the grace of God, they can be saved! Ask the Holy Spirit to draw men and women, boys and girls to Christ through our Easter ministries.

You can also volunteer to help at the Good Friday luncheon, or Saturday's pancake breakfast and egg hunt. Many hands make light work and you’ll be blessed and encouraged serving alongside your church family. Let the office know you can help even if for just a little while.

You can also take a few of the invite cards we have at the exits to make it easy to invite lost people to come with you to church. Don’t invite friends who already go to church. Focus on people who don’t attend anywhere or haven’t been in a long time. Offer to give them a ride and invite them to lunch afterwards to help them come. Why? Because you love them and you want them to know the Risen Savior!

On Easter Sunday, if you are able, park in the parking garage up the street to make room for our guests and walk down or catch the shuttle we’ll be running. Be looking for people you don’t recognize, great them warmly and love them like Jesus. Move to the middle of the row to make room for guests to sit on the ends. Don’t sit in the back rows, move forward and take seats closer to the front for the sake of our guests who come in late so our ushers can help them get seated quickly – Okay preacher, you’ve done gone to meddlin’! Seriously folks, think of it as though someone’s eternal future in heaven or hell depends on what you do that momentous Sunday – in reality, it does.

We’ve just begun our emphasis for our Annie Armstrong offering for North American Missions. Each week we’ll see how that offering is used to support missionaries and their work to reach people with the Gospel right here in North America. Our church goal is $16,000.00 and I realize the economy is bad and things are tight for everyone, I know you cannot out give God. I need you to prayerfully consider how you could give more than you’ve ever given before so we exceed this goal. We are at a critical time in human history, the Lord’s return is soon and people need the Lord. Your sacrificial gifts will help spread the gospel right here in our country and Canada. Having been a North American Missionary and church planter, I can tell you the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is a great blessing to the missionaries who serve with NAMB.

I love Easter. I love proclaiming that Jesus Christ is risen and I always marvel at the gift of God’s grace in saving this sinner and turning me into a preacher. Let’s enjoy spring and let’s go fishing for souls this spring. Those robins in my yard remind me the early bird gets the worm. Start praying and inviting your lost friends and loved ones to church and be the early bird. “Going fishin’”; from my little corner of the world to yours…

Ralph Green

Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church  

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