Good Rain ’19 is in the books (our ministry initiative in Rwanda). And like all those since we began in 2011 it was rewarding, profitable and exhausting. The strongest feeling that I come away with is gratefulness…gratefulness that God lets me be a part of what He is doing in Rwanda and gratefulness for the generous donors who make this annual $20,000 mission possible. But Good Rain must quickly fade into the rear view mirror as Easter is quickly going to dominate the view through the windshield.
Believe it or not, Lent begins next Wednesday. Traditionally it has signified the start of “preparing” to really experience Easter in the deepest, most profound spiritual way. I hope you will embrace in that way. We are working hard producing some original materials to help you do just that. But as you utilize them, I think you will find them different from the Lenten resources you are generally used to. Why? Hope’s 2019 Easter materials focus on the major post-Resurrection responsibility of every Christ-follower – telling others about the Christ in us.
The Don’t Worry, Just Say It! theme comes from a statement made by the Risen Christ in Mark 13:11: So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say. On the contrary, whatever is given to you in that hour—say it. For it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Over the 5 weeks you will discover biblical tips on how to tell your own story of coming to faith in Christ and how to use it to lead someone else to do the same. We will also review the message of the Gospel built around the 4 pillars of God’s Plan, Our Problem, God’s Remedy and Our Response. I think you will find these personally assuring, spiritually encouraging, and very helpful in presenting the Good News to those who need it. The Week One installment will be available this Sunday in the lobby as well as on our web site.
There will be more to our Easter build up than Don’t Worry, Just Say It! We’ll continue our tradition of the all-night Prayer Vigil on Thursday/Friday of Holy Week. The “new” element this year will be a family friendly Seder meal on Wednesday evening of Holy Week: April 17. It will be facilitated and explained by Rabbi Nathan Joiner, a Christ following Jew, who was with us in 2013. It will definitely be a highlight so be sure to build your week around being a part of that.
It’s always good to go on mission. It is always good to get back home. But it is extra special when we combine the two – being on mission while at home. I pray that this will be our Easter story. There is no great privilege in life than getting to lead someone to faith in Christ! So, Don’t Worry, Just Say It! See you Sunday. I look forward to meeting those you are going to bring with you.