It’s Holy Week, with Easter quickly approaching. Churches everywhere are advertising in newspapers about their worship times, others are hosting Easter egg hunts for the wider community, and church money counters are holding their breath counting on a sudden influx of cash.
Pastors and preparing their sermons, imagining an audience of long-time members and those they have never met. Easter Lilies are awaiting delivery and choirs are practicing one more time.
Yet, there are people who will stay home on Easter Morning.
They will stay home because they have never been in a church, and can’t imagine ever going.
They will stay home because they don’t have anyone to go with.
They will stay home because they expect to be rejected – for their past, for how they look, for what they do, for who they love, for what they believe.
They will stay home because they have been rejected by a church – for their past, for how they look, for what they do, for who they love, for what they believe.
There are people who will stay home on Easter Morning, not realizing that the Word that will be spoken, the Prayers that will be prayed, and the Songs that will be sung are all for them. They will not feel God’s Love in the midst of a community, because that community does not – or is perceived to not – love them.
Christ lived and died for us all, in the midst of our unique, and real, and complicated lives.
If you have been turned away, know that there are churches who will welcome you. They will notice you for who you are. They will remember your name. They will welcome you fully as an equal on this journey together.
Please take the time to find a place you feel comfortable, and if you need, sit near the back for a quick exit.
If you are in the Twin Cities, check out Grace-Trinity, we worship at 10am. But there are many other equally awesome options – somewhere there is the perfect place for you, you just may need to look around a bit.
Prayers for your journey.