Every year around this time, we gear up to remember the greatest moment in history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We take off work, get our hair done (or did, depending on where you’re from), get our best clothes and food prepped for “the big day”.
We send out the inspirational quotes and Christian memes are retweeted at an all time high.
We prepare for this moment like Fat Tuesday: beads, bells, whistles, even a titillating [praise] dance to show the world we’re Christians and we know it!
We’re excited. Elated. Full of resurrection joy — and, in the same breath (and self-righteousness), shun those who may be utilizing their “C.M.E.” membership cards this weekend. Oh, you know, the “Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter” church goer?
We say, “Ugh! EVERYbody and their mama gon’ be at church this weekend!” or “I’m going to watch service from home because I don’t have time to be fighting folks for a seat in church!” OR “Y’all know folks only come to church for a fashion show this weekend! [insert laughter here]”
How indignatious we are about “our” Jesus! He belongs to “us”, the “saved”, the “righteous”, the “set apart”, and the “sanctified”! Anyone who wants Him, even on this weekend, should take a step back, move out the way, and let the “seasoned saints” show you how this Christianity/church thing is done!
Again, I give you:
What an oxymoron it is, of all weekends, to push people away from Christ because WE don’t want to be inconvenienced with the crowds, new faces, and long wait times at our favorite Buckhead restaurant!
What a shame it will be when we must all answer for the deeds done in this life that God plays back to a moment where we used our words (typed and spoken) to inadvertently push someone away from Christ. What a shame it will be when we have to answer for that person’s life — and the missed opportunity for them to encounter Christ this weekend.
I don’t want that kind of responsibility. I don’t want to have to answer for why a person didn’t receive Christ during what may have been a critical point in their lives because my sense of entitlement to Jesus kept them away.
Jesus’ death cleared the slate for everyone. He didn’t die for a select group of people — His salvific work was/is universal. It’s renewing and renewable. What shame we bring to this holiday weekend with our refusal to do His greatest command: love one another.
So, as we go about our weekend, prepping collards and pinning curls, let’s be mindful of the people who, like some of the Jews of Jesus’ time, had not quite yet believed. Be mindful of them, be kind to them, embrace and accept them. Scoot over a little closer to your neighbor this weekend. Choose to stand in the back of the church and give a visitor your “usual seat.” Use the patience you’ve been storing in your reserves since last Easter and use it this weekend!
People are watching, waiting, desiring a moment to encounter Him — and for many, the first encounter with Christ will be through us.
Let’s do good work this weekend and every day to come!
On the Resurrection “you can have my seat” Chase,