Working This Holy Week

April 17, 2011
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, 
to send out workers 
into his harvest field.
Luke 10.2

If you’ve been around Catholic world for any amount of time you’ve probably heard that verse quoted regarding prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Maybe. But maybe there is another way of reading it too.  His harvest field is actually the vast number of people right here in our own community of north Baltimore who do not know the Lord Jesus in a personal way. We’re the workers. And Holy Week, the days between now and Easter, is the harvest. It can be plentiful, if we do the work.

Most people in church (well, at least our church) would admit that they want to see people come to church and get to know their Savior right here in our faith community. But the frustration is that many times we fail to understand that people who don’t know Christ simply do not believe that he is the answer to their issues or problems.

We need to live our lives and preach the Gospel in such a way that people far from God don’t have a hard time believing in God because of the hypocrisy they see in our lives, or because we let church become boring and bad, or just all about us. The Gospel isn’t unbelievable, but sometimes we make it unbelievable.  

We are called to work for the harvest, preaching the Gospel every single day. How we treat the waiter or waitress, talk about others when they’re not around, respond to others in traffic, everything we do preaches a message.  Our lifestyle openly declares whether or not we’re workers in the harvest. 

And this week is the harvest. Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday are the days when hundreds of people in our community who are far from God and never go to church will actually give it a try, or try it again. Thousands more will be actively considering it. And if its boring and bad, if its all about insiders and ignores visitors, they will only be confirmed in their decision not to come the rest of the year. That should grab our attention and motivate us to get involved and actually start acting like the harvest workers he asks us to be.

Here are some ways you can practically work for the harvest master this week:

1. Pray for the people in our community who do not go to church, that they will be moved to join us (or some other christian community) and that their experience will make the gospel more believable  for them.

2. Invite a friend or unchurched neighbor to church or invite them to join our on-line congregation this week. 

3. Park off campus on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Walk to church, its good for you. On Easter Sunday you can just go directly to the main lot at Mars and park there (Mars will be closed).  There will be two shuttles on continuous loop, should you prefer not to walk.  

4. Once inside, greet people you do not know, especially if they have that “deer in the headlights” new to Nativity look. Be friendly and helpful.

5. Give up your seat on Easter Sunday morning, the time our unchurched friends will most likely visit us.  Give them your seat and attend one of our video venues instead. There will be plenty of seats in the children’s wing and the cafe pavilion, and you can save seats so your whole family can sit together (which will not be allowed in the main sanctuary). There will be great audio and video in these venues and you will have a great experience. 
Its Easter, so celebrate and sing.

The harvest is plentiful, lets have plenty of workers this Holy Week.

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