Dear First Methodist Family,
Can you believe it? We completed our New Year message series, Life Together, and our two-week message series, “Never Alone.” And we’re beginning our Lenten journey. Easter is just seven Sunday’s away. I’m looking forward to our journey to Easter, and I believe every Sunday between now and our Resurrection Celebration will be important. We’re calling our Lenten journey,“Road to Easter.” Here are four specific things that you can do as we prepare for the “Road to Easter.” Any road is better together, and the Lenten road is no exception.
1. INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! It’s always amazed me that although I know that many of my friends are LOOKING for a church to attend, I still feel nervous when inviting them. Maybe it’s the fact that we all feel a bit nervous when talking about things that are important to us. The truth is, when you invite a friend to join you for church, they very often will come, and even if they cannot, they’ll appreciate the fact that you thought of them.
2. PARK AS FAR FROM THE CHURCH AS YOU’RE ABLE! We have many first-time attendees and finding a parking place will be a challenge for the uninitiated. Our 10:50 am service is often the most difficult service for parking. As our 9:30 am service continues on a growth curve, it makes parking for the next service a challenge. If you are one of the many athletic people in our church, park at the cleaners or the Brazos River Authority. One of the things I love about First Methodist is that way that our regular attendees selflessly park away from the church so visitors, elderly, and families with small children can use the prime parking spots. As you take a healthy walk, remind yourself that the early pioneers loaded their family into wagons and spent the day getting to and from church, in all kinds of weather, and they spent the day in worship.
3. HELP OUT IN ANY WAY YOU CAN. If you see anything that needs to be done – a piece of paper that needs to be picked up, a person who needs a warm greeting or a question answered, or a donut that needs to be scraped off the ceiling – I encourage you to “just do it.” Help our visitors find where the free trade coffee is or help them find a Sunday School Class. Share your name and ask them for theirs. Another of the great things about First Methodist is the way that we all pull together to be the church.
4. PERSONALLY, CELEBRATE THE GOOD NEWS OF EASTER starting today. Just think of it: because of Easter our past is forgiven, our life is worth living and we have a future filled with hope! Romans 3:22 says, “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in the same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.” (NLT)
We’ve had a great beginning to 2017! I hope you’ve already made plans to attend worship as often as possible as we get ready for Easter, and I hope you’re already thinking of who you’ll invite to church this weekend.
As you walk the Road to Easter with us, you might begin taking care of the perfect plant in your yard that will deliver the prettiest flowers for the Cross on Easter Sunday. But it will be an old rugged cross for six Sundays. We will pass our aluminum pocket crosses this weekend as a reminder of who we are and whose we are. The cross always comes before the crown. But the crown is worth it.
SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND AT THE ROAD TO EASTER PLACE!
Pastor Steve Ramsdell