About 30 eggs filled with my wife’s “healthiest candies” lay hidden in the small patch of grass in our front yard. After a short reading of the Easter story in Luke 24 my three kids ransacked the green grass filling their baskets with the treasured eggs. I snapped a few really cute photos of the kids to keep the tradition in our memories, gave each family member a kiss, hopped on my motorbike and said goodbye.
Within the next few hours I was in a deep mountain valley surrounded by jungle and dozens of rural villages where thousands upon thousands of people have never heard of Easter. Eggs filled with candy were the farthest thing from their minds. Some of these people needed clean water, basic medical care, electricity and more importantly hope. They can’t even begin to hope in the good things of life because they’ve never heard that all good things come from a loving Creator. Not very far from my own home in Southeast Asia where we celebrated the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, were thousands of people who have never heard this Good News.
That night my team and I ate squirrels and sticky rice with new believers. We took time to listen to their struggles, worship, pray and cast vision. We memorized a biblical story and asked simple discussion questions. We set goals with leaders, reminded them to be accountable to Jesus, and commissioned them in prayer. Our Easter was filled with both celebration and loving discipleship. We seek to be intentional about living out the Gospel by word and deed, making disciples of all nations and training them to obey as Jesus taught us.
Where are your priorities this Easter? Are you living out your faith in the resurrection or simply caught up in the eggs and glitter of market driven religion? Pastors, leaders and church staff spend so much of their time, money and energy into Easter and eggs that they are completely exhausted after the event – which is a sad way to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. We’ve become more concerned about our presentations and programs than the people in our communities and people groups in our world. Let’s not make the lame excuse that we’re not cross cultural missionaries living in a foreign land. It doesn’t matter where or who you are. The Good News that Jesus conquered sin and death should be a priority in our lives.
Here are three ways to share the Gospel and make loving people a priority this Easter:
- Meet Your Neighbors: Fill a gift basket with Easter eggs or cookies and knock on your neighbors’ door. Share your story with them and explain the meaning of Easter. Ask them if they need prayer. And don’t forget to include your family or friends to go with you (it’d be super creepy if a grown man with Easter eggs came to my door).
- Meet Your Neighborhood: Use your holiday weekend to visit your local inner-city. Whether you are 10 minutes or 1 hour away, there is always a place of need in your city. Include the whole family in a service project or celebrate Easter in a public park where you can bless strangers with eggs, stories and prayer.
- Meet The Nations: Take time as a family to learn about and pray for Unreached People Groups (UPG). There are entire communities, cities and nations of people who have never heard the Easter story. Find out if any of these UPG’s are living in your state or city and make an effort to learn about them.