I recently read a church-sign that said, “Beat the Easter rush, worship now.”
When it comes to the “Easter” rush, my advice to any congregation is, if you have one and it can be done, take advantage of it!
I know, I have seen people attending worship services on Easter who didn’t want to be there anymore than the average person enjoys going to the dentist; but mixed in with the people who care little about worshiping God (it’s the, “Let’s make mom, dad, or someone else happy by going to church this weekend.” mentality) it is very possible there will be an individual at the worship service genuinely seeking God with a Berean-like mentality (Acts 17:11) … and we need to let them know that God can be found (Acts 17:27).
Most people feel as if they are doing something good by worshiping on “Easter”, and yes many of them have much to learn; but that is why we need to take advantage of the opportunity and encourage them to keep doing good in hopes that the desire to please God on one day becomes something that looks to fulfill the righteousness of God every day (Acts 10:34-35; Romans 1:16-17).
“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:20-24 NKJV)
Our good brother Don Petty died last night. He and his wife Sylvia participated most recently in the Lewisville TX congregation. I’ve asked Jeff Jenkins to write up an obituary for BrotherhoodNews.com. Don worked in Iran when the Shah ruled.
• Jeremiah Tatum has a good reminder about “Where Visitors Go to Die,” in a new Bulletin Digest article. Have you ever been in a church that ignored you? Most of us have, unfortunately. And were more than ready to get out. Reckon the Lord thinks that way too?
• It’s a shame American churches (and others, of course) depend mostly upon their Sunday meetings for evangelism. They’re so ineffective. Not what the Lord intended, at all, to be church building- and preacher-centered. We say, “Come;” he says, “Go!”
• A quote, from the last issue of our Brazilian magazine, on Phil 4:13, which says, “for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God” (NET). The quote, my translation: “The Lord works in the inside and on the outside. He it is who makes things happen, even within us.”
• A translation item: In Portuguese the preposition for “in” and “on” is one and the same: em. The preposition is the most hairy part of language, to my mind. No rhyme or reason in their use. You just have to learn their contextual meanings. More so than other parts of language, it seems. A slavish literalism in translation has to go into denial when dealing with prepositions.
• How about a parting quote? From The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln. “A penny honestly earned is hard to part with. But man must learn to control his greed. For ’tis a universal proverb, ‘Stinginess never enriches and measured generosity never makes one poor.’ To everything there is a time—a time to get money and a time to give.”