Welcome to my home!
Cyndi and I are settling into our new home. After six months of remodeling, we are down to a few vent covers, a stair runner, and a few paint daubs before we are done with phase 1… the first of, I am guessing, 39 phases! (Wowza, I’ve only been out of the home-owning business for 18 months; I forgot how much there is to do!)
Cyndi and I are getting into the rhythm of living in our beautiful little house. And, like the proud house-parents we are, we enjoy showing it off to friends. We invite them to “come see,” we watch for them as they drive up, we wait for them to ring our retro Nutone chimes (which we kept…and love!), we rush down to the new, glass-filled front door, and we welcome them in! We show them from room to room, describing the things that have changed as well as the old things we kept. And the grand finale is the view out our picture window which, for us, was the reason we bought this fixer-upper.
Now, imagine if our guests showed up, rang the bell, and we shouted, “It’s open! Come on in!” Imagine if they stood in the foyer, hesitant, unsure of what to do or where to go, and we shouted down, “Just go ahead and look around!” Unthinkable, right? We want to share our home; we want to tell our story; we want them to experience our delight. That’s what it means to be good hosts.
If you consider Chapel Hill your church home, may I remind you that next weekend…Easter weekend…you are the hosts, not the guests! I urge you to remember this as we approach the most important celebration in our church year. Call your friends and invite them to your church “home.” Make a place for your guests to park by parking across the street. Greet them warmly at our “front door;” show them around. Share the “new things” that we do around here as well as the precious “old” things that remain unchanged. And most of all, give them a glimpse of a new view…a new way of looking at the world that is so beautiful that those who really see it are never the same again.
Please, please…we need every Chapel Hill person to be a good host. Invite, welcome, guide, sit with, process afterwards. It is what good hosts do. For our part, we will offer powerful music and a message that will, we hope, meet our newcomers right where they are. We will even offer the chance to respond to the gospel. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of that?
So, whom will you invite? Maybe you’ll even pick them up! It’s harder to change your mind if a ride is coming. You have four service times to choose from: 6:30 pm modern worship on Saturday night; two blended services at 8:00 am and 9:30 am on Easter Sunday, and another modern at 11:00 am. And another big favor, come to the 8:00 am if you can!
Most of all, please join me (as I have every day) in praying that the Holy Spirit will prompt you to invite the right people and give you the courage to do so. And that the same Holy Spirit will meet every one of our guests in resurrection power!
He is risen!!! He is risen indeed!
P.S. If you have never attended our Maundy Thursday service of darkness and silence, you have missed what I consider to be one of the most powerful of our church year. Please join us at 7:00 pm this Thursday.