This week is what we refer to as Passion Week. This is the final week of Jesus' life on earth before His resurrection. The Church in America will utilize this week to reach out to the lost in our communities. Some may have Maundy Thursday service. Others may have a Good Friday Service. Others may have an egg hunt and others may have a Sunrise Service. Still others may have a musical or dramatic presentation and some churches may utilize all of the above. There is a concerted attempt to allow the lost in America to hear the good news of the resurrection. Easter is an incredible reminder that Jesus makes all things new. He gives us the gift of eternal life and He brings the blessing of abundant life, both are greatly in need in our pagan culture.
At Hillcrest Baptist Church, we will have a solemn Good Friday Service on Friday evening at 7:00 and then have an Easter Eggstravaganza for the kids on Saturday morning, followed by a Sonrise Service on Sunday morning with several other churches in the community at the Rollings Hills Cemetery mausoleum. So there are wonderful opportunities ahead for you to invite family, friends and neighbors to hear the good news about Jesus and His resurrection.
So may ask why we would utilize eggs to reach out to the community since this is a pagan tradition. Definitely a valid and fair question, one which I continually struggle with in my own life. We are trying to follow the Biblical mindset Paul tells us we must have when he says in I Corinthians 9, "19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." However, we still have struggled with the use of eggs for this outreach, so we have chosen to utilize Resurrection Eggs, which tell the story of the resurrection of Jesus. The kids will find the eggs and then redeem them for prizes. As we tell the story of the resurrection, each child will take their egg with its contents to an adult to get a prize at the appropriate time. In this way, we get to share the message of the resurrection with an opportunity for them to receive Jesus as Savior.
Is this a perfect way to reach out? Of course not. There are no perfect methods, just a perfect message. Some churches would find this type of outreach offensive and degrading to the cause of Christ. They would not compromise the message of Easter with the pagan rituals so entrenched in our society. other churches would think we were going to far to push the message of Jesus on people with the use of Resurrection Eggs. They see any cultural opportunity to share the love of Christ as the perfect opportunity. They aren't bound by the customs of the culture because they have been set free by Jesus.
I don't know where you fall on this spectrum, but here is what I do know: Don't let your choice become a hammer you utilize to beat up other churches. We are THE body of Christ. Trust the each church has prayed, sought God's direction and is trying to fulfill the Great Commission. Don't fall into the terrible trap of arguing with or berating other churches. The Body of Christ does more to damage itself than the gates of Hell ever does. It is sad to see well-meaning Christians who utilize social media to find fault with other churches or pastors. When our lost friends see and hear our comments, they view us as hypocrites. Just because we don't agree does not mean we should run another ministry down. The world will do a good enough job of that. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one as He and the Father are One. Where we live, there are plenty of lost people around. If all of our churches were filled ten times on a Sunday, we still would only be reaching about 1/3 of the population. So why fight over the method of trying to reach a lost and dying world? Why not support and celebrate what God is doing in another church? Why not let the unifying power of the resurrection draw us together rather than using our own wisdom to push us apart? May this Resurrection weekend be one where the Body of Christ truly supports each other and make a concerted effort to share the ultimate message of hope and grace.