Easter is this weekend. I'm so excited about it! Our church is putting on an original production for Easter called Emmaus. (click on the link to check it out!)
As the weekend is approaching, God is placing something on my heart that I've never experienced before. And it makes me feel WEIRD AND UNCOMFORTABLE. Actually, it's been on my heart for about 3 weeks now, but I've been ignoring it, thinking God will stop pestering me about it if I continue to ignore Him. But it looks as though that's not how He works. You see, I have this burden on my heart to invite our neighbors to church. Now, I know that probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But it is to me. I wouldn't exactly describe myself as evangelical. And, we aren't exactly "neighborly" with our neighbors. Not that there's any bad blood or hard feelings. But, we (meaning Michael and I, as well as the neighbors) haven't really ventured across our little plot of land and just visited. So the idea of showing up on their doorstep, ringing the bell, and saying, "Hey, I know we've never really talked or hung out, but do you want to visit our church this weekend?" is an incredibly daunting thought. It seems almost insane.
Michael and I talked about it in depth last night. Why are we so afraid to ask them to church? We know our church is awesome and very welcoming. And, we're pretty sure they don't know Jesus, which means they've got reserved seats on the 245 to Hellsville. Shouldn't that prompt us to act? Why is reaching out to people near you so difficult? I'll tell you why. Fear of rejection. What if we do ask them and they say no? Then we might be the "weird, Christian neighbors...." But then I remind myself that Christ says to follow Him means to take up our cross and to leave the worldly behind. Am I ashamed of Him? No. Do I believe that He can save us from a life destined for hell? Yes. Do I believe that He is the Savior of the world? Yes. Do I believe that if our neighbors don't hear about what He did for them and accept Him, they will continue down the path to hell? Yes. So what's stopping me?
I know that to step out of my little house of comfort and cross the street, cookies and an invitation in hand, could possible change their lives. Why does God stretching me have to feel so uncomfortable?
So, if you read this before Easter, please pray for me, Michael and our neighbors. Pray for courage, pray for openness, and pray for God to do a work in us. They may reject our idea, and yes, we may end up being labeled as "weird." But then again, they may accept our invitation and come to know Jesus the way we do. As a Savior.
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