Easter is coming, and we are beaming with anticipation at being able to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with you. It is in the truth of his resurrection that our eternal hope lies because we know that Jesus was raised by the Holy Spirit and we, who trust in Jesus for our salvation, will be raised to live with God forever just like Jesus was. This is news that changes everything.
Yet, we also know that Easter is one of the heaviest attended Sundays all year. People who aren’t even Christians come to church either because of family tradition or because of an inherent curiosity that Easter might be true. Regardless, mass amounts of people will be coming to Mercy Hill on Easter Sunday, April 16. And this could be a problem for us.
You see, if 800 of you who attend the Sunday morning services do not move to one of our night services that week (Thursday at Regional Rd. @ 6:30pm and Sunday at Regional Rd. and Clifton Rd. @ 5:00pm) then there will be people who either have to sit in the lobby or may not be able to have a seat at all. This is unacceptable to Mercy Hill and shows that we have our priorities wrong.
Your Sacrifice has Eternal Significance
It may not seem like much of an impact, but you moving the service you attend is an incredible ministry to the Kingdom of God. Why? Because of the very fact that Jesus’ Kingdom has not been fully established yet. We are waiting for the last day. We are waiting for Jesus to return and for the New Heavens and New Earth to come. And this is what Peter says about the patience of God in waiting to send Jesus back: “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. . . Also, regard the patience of our Lord as salvation” (2 Pet. 3:9,15a CSB). Every single day that comes and goes without the glorious return of Christ is designed by God for people to repent and be saved to the glory of God. And that is why your changing service times is a big deal.
Yes, if you are Christian, there is much joy and reason to celebrate Easter, and you should. But there is no need (unless there are extenuating circumstances) to worship at your preferred service time for we will be living and worshiping God perfectly for all eternity. But when this Easter comes, if God is still exercising his patience, this Easter is a day for salvation. Let’s make sure that there are open seats for people to hear the gospel and finally come to a saving faith in Christ for “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ” (Rom. 10:17 CSB).
-Alex Nolette (Equip Associate)