Christ Lutheran Church…only five weeks ago was filled with people, with shouts of “Alleluia,” the fresh scent of lilies and other spring flowers. Music filled the air as organs and trumpets played while voices called out, signifying a sanctuary filled. Now, five weeks later the question arises, here at Christ Lutheran Church, as it does elsewhere…where did everybody go? You see, it’s not unusual for churches to fill with celebratory sound and image and crowds, to lose some of that following the festival.
As the pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, this leads me to consider two different strategies: Firstly, make sure that the members of the congregation are aware that, for instance, Easter is seven weeks long. The other strategy is to intentionally turn to those outside the congregation and with the invitation, indeed the plea: WE NEED YOU. That rings throughout the season, that in all the cries of Alleluia, you are welcomed as we are! And we want you. We want you to be a part of our community. We want you to join us in singing praises and lifting up our voices. We want you, those who have felt undesired and unwanted in other communities, there is a place for you here.
This is a large part of the Easter message called to bring you in to a community in which Christ rose for all. As in alleluia.