People who only go to church on Christmas and Easter are only there because someone invited them. Their relationship with the person who brought them there will affect their experience. This is my eye witness account of what I’ve seen in churches on these holy days. To Leslie (my mother-in-law): if you are reading this, please disregard the next section.
These people walk in and they immediately feel out of place. They are usually either overdressed (three piece suit with ascot) or under dressed (urban outfitters “Jesus is my home boy T-shirt” and cargo shorts). They’ve never heard any of the songs so they just clap. They aren’t sure why people are stand ing up with their h s raised. Then it’s time for communion. They think about it for a minute and someone passes them the tray. They think, if I do it they’ll think I’m a fraud and don’t belong here. If I don’t do it, then everyone will know I’m a fraud and don’t belong here. They panic and hide in the bathroom. They go to the parking lot, and that’s where it ends.
These people walk into their family church feeling conflicted. They’re happy to see old friends from their days in youth group. They smile when the pastor jokingly say’s “haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays”. The pastor does the call for prayer and they have an emotional response. They have the elders pray with them, take communion, walk out and that’s where it ends.
These people walk in and feel nervous. They smile when their friend gives them a rundown of what to expect. Their friend introduces them to people saying:
“This is the pastor. This is the pastor’s wife, she plays the piano and has a beautiful voice. Oh, and this is my friend he works in our industry”.
They do a call for prayer and communion. The one visiting asks their friends questions about their faith. They walk out together and that’s not where it ends.
This is the parable of sowing seeds to grow a garden. God is the seed, we are the plant and our circumstances are the soil. If the soil is rocky birds will eat the seeds before anything can grow. That’s what happened to the first guest, they didn’t have the right foundation. If the soil is too shallow the plant will sprout quickly and quickly whither. That’s what happened to the second guest. They felt the light but failed to see it. If the soil conditions are right the plant is tended to by a gardener it with produce in abundance. That’s what happened to the last guest.
I want to give a shout out to my beautiful sister-in-law. Today we went to an Easter service. She walked in as a guest and left with a much bigger family than she expected. She chose today to walk with Christ through the expression of baptism. Today, my husbandand I witnessed a seed that was planted bloom.