Today marks the beginning of the Lenten season. In just over forty days, we will gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Growing up as a Baptist in the South, we didn’t mark these seasons of the church year. Sure, we celebrated Easter. But I didn’t know what Lent was until moving to the Midwest.
Most of the time, Lent is marked by self-denial. It is common to hear people speak of what they decided to give up for Lent. Traditionally, people would give up meat. In today’s culture, it is common to hear of people giving up entertainment, technology or even social media.
I wonder if instead of giving up something for Lent this year, would you consider giving something instead? This Lenten season, would you be willing to give two to three minutes every day to pray for someone that you know doesn’t go to church or have a relationship with Jesus? And then, as Easter approaches, would you be willing to give an invitation to that individual to join you at Ashworth Easter Sunday?
I know that for many, even the thought of inviting someone to church or speaking to someone about Jesus strikes fear in the heart and creates anxiety and tension. However, in our culture, Easter is the largest attended church service of the year. People are more open and receptive to an invitation at this time of year. And after all, haven’t you experienced the incredible love and life of Jesus because someone saw fit to invite you?
To help you, starting this Sunday and every Sunday leading up to Easter, we will be placing invite cards on the seats in the worship center. We want you to pick these up, take them home with you, put them on your refrigerator or tape them to your computer at work. Let them be a physical reminder to pray every day for that individual. And when you are ready, you can give the invitation to the person who you are going to work up the nerve and finally ask, “Would you like to join my family and me at Ashworth Church this Easter?”
If you invite someone to join you, we will do everything we can to create a worship experience that helps them encounter the presence of God and feel the love of the resurrected Savior.