Easter is the most attended church service of the year.
It’s the day when people who think about going to church, do.
180 million eggs will be dyed and decorated this week.
89% of people will eat the ears first off of their chocolate bunnies.
50% of people in the USA will attend church.
We will wear our Sunday best. We will celebrate a risen Savior.
We will go to church on Easter.
Because that’s what we do. We flock to church on the holiest day of the year.
I’m crying a little less but about three times more than normal these days. I am so aware that God is at work that I’m savoring His closeness. I’m desperate for the Jesus of Easter. The One who can do anything with anyone. I’m living a Red Sea season, watching Him part waters and make a way when there wasn’t.
And I’m a little more heartbroken than ever. For the women I left behind in Kenya who don’t have enough food for tomorrow and for Christians in Egypt and around the world who will risk their lives to celebrate this same Savior. More than 100 believers died on Palm Sunday because terrorists attached bombs under their pews and blew them up while they worshiped. This is a kind of targeted evil that is terrifying.
At dinner last night, we read from my new favorite family devotion and it opened up a good conversation about our world and what’s happening in Egypt, Syria, North Korea and Russia.
My 10 year old asked the question we all were thinking, “What happens if it comes here–war? What happens if they attack our church?”
It’s awful to think about and I want to reassure my children that these horrifying things will never happen here. We are America and we are “blessed” and well, in God We Trust. The only problem is, I just don’t really believe that. I’ve met too many people risking their lives for this same Jesus in hard, broken and dangerous places to believe that God has called us to be safe. Or that He guarantees it.
So, I told my family the same words I’d read by those in Egypt who are burying their children instead of dying eggs with them: When they were asked what they would do, how they would respond to the terrifying acts committed against Christians, they said, “We will go to church on Easter. We will go and worship the name of Jesus”.
This message captures the heart of many believers who face violent persecution in the Middle East. The Christian community in Egypt is brave and resilient, but they are hurting and need your encouragement.
They will look into the face of this unspeakable, calculated evil and they will go to church.
“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now. —Saint Teresa of Avila
I continued reading our devotional and I paused at these words to let them sink in, “When I’m confronted with a situation like this–one that is too big for me to handle–or when I’m frustrated at the sheer injustice of something… I often tell myself “this is not mine to fix.”And while it does help to remind me that I’m not always responsible for making everything right, I find I sometimes use it as an excuse to do nothing…More helpful is this question we should ask ourselves, “What’s mine to do?” Don’t give into the temptation to do nothing because you can’t do everything. God is not calling you to fix every problem, but more likely than not, He is calling you to do something,” a devotion from He Walks Among Us.
While we are dyeing pastel eggs, people are dying on Easter. We have the opportunity to do something this Holy week. We can pray for Christians around the globe. We can support ministries like Preemptive Love who are on the ground in Syria and Iraq. We can sponsor a girl in Kenya (we have 8 openings); we can join Fair Trade Friday (we are empowering women in many Muslim countries where it is dangerous to be a Christian), we can shop fair trade; we can continually point our kids to the cross when it’s so easy to make it about the candy.
We can go to church on Easter.
And remember those who risk their lives to do the same.