I looks like warmer weather and sunny skies arrived just in time for this week’s spring break! Many Austinites have been looking forward to this week, especially after such a frigid and tumultuous February. Thousands of Austinites are now spending time with their family and friends to rest and recharge for the final sprint to summer. Likewise, I’m also enjoying some time off this week with Bethany and the kids, as we rest before the final sprint to Easter.
I’m excited that churches around the country will be gathering in-person this year on Easter Sunday. As we all know, almost every church in America had its doors closed on Easter in 2020, but I’m praying this Easter will be a “homecoming” moment for many Christians across our country. To make room for those who are not here yet, we are offering three identical worship services with choir and orchestra at 8:15AM, 9:45AM, and 11:11AM. This schedule will give us extra space for guests and extra time to properly sanitize and flip the room in between services. If you are ready to worship with us in-person, I’d encourage you to join us on this special resurrection Sunday. For our early risers and for those who would like to avoid the crowds, I would encourage you to join us for our earliest morning service. I believe you’ll be blessed by that 8:15AM service, and you will likewise be a blessing to our guests in the later services by making room for them.
As we approach this special Sunday, I’d encourage you to do a couple things. The first is pray. Pray for our services, for the message, and for the music being led by Eddie Cox and Mackenzie Guthrie. Pray that people will feel welcomed, loved, and renewed by the hope of Christ’s resurrection. But also pray for your friends and neighbors. I believe many are looking for hope right now, and Easter could be the catalyst to get them pointed back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The second thing I’d ask you to do is invite. We all have neighbors and friends who do not go to church, and you’d be surprised how many would be open to a sincere invitation. Many people do not go to church simply because no one invites them. Attending an unfamiliar church all alone can be an intimidating endeavor. So I urge to invite your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to join you on April 4th. Young parents, I encourage you to attend the 11:11AM service since the egg hunt will begin right afterwards. This will provide a great opportunity for you to invite a family to sit with you in worship, and then join you for the festivities afterwards. We’ll also have some beautiful Easter photo spots that morning for families in all services to capture a special Easter picture.
To help equip you to invite, we’re going to begin distributing Easter yard signs this Sunday after our worship services. I encourage each of you to pick one up and place it proudly in your yard. This will help ABC create awareness in our community, and it will serve as a springboard for you to open up conversations with others. Even if you are not ready to attend in-person, you can still invite others to join us online! These yard signs will be distributed at church on 3/21 and 3/28, but you can also come up to the church to pick them up during the work week, beginning Monday March 22nd.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:37 that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” My prayer is that we will all labor together in the coming weeks to point others in our city to our living hope in Jesus Christ. If we do, I believe Easter 2021 will be a day to be remembered by the church for many years to come.