But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. –Luke 15:20b
Few images better capture our sense of God’s love and mercy–a father running out to meet his child, throwing his arms around him and kissing him, so very glad to have him back home again.
As a congregation, we want those who join us in worship to feel a warm and welcoming embrace, and there is no better time than Easter Sunday for us to look for ways to make our guests feel like they are coming home.
First, we ask all of our members to park as far away from our entrances as possible, reserving our best parking places for our guests. Second, we invite our members to sit up front in worship, reserving our back pews for our guests.
When the time comes for us to pass the peace, we will turn to find our back pews filled with guests who join us looking for hope. When worship concludes and the children run out to hunt for eggs, our guests will be first in line to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries and mimosas, and we will have the joy walking out of our front doors to see our plaza filled with life and joy and hope.
The purpose of worship is to celebrate the love of God, and there is no better way for us to do this than for us to reach out as a congregation to welcome and embrace the children of God who return home to celebrate Easter.