The Hope of an Easter People

This Easter will be different than any most of us have ever experienced. COVD-19 has changed our lives in ways that we are only beginning to realize. As people who follow Jesus Christ, we have been and will continue to be called upon to respond in ways we never anticipated. What should we do? Especially as we find ourselves approaching Easter Morning, a time that’s usually filled with joyful worship, sequestered at home as the sun quietly rises over our garden.

I find encouragement in the scriptures. Words so relevant to our situation at the moment as some of us are confronted with losing jobs. Many are separated from loved ones. Others work long hours to care for the sick and dying or make food available to the hungry. Jesus offers words to calm our fears. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) His promise prepared disciples then, and now, for the presence of the resurrected Savior and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

As we frail humans confront the reality of an unseen enemy – one that could take our lives or those of our loved ones – once more our faith provides hope.

“He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”

(Matthew 28:6-7 )

Again, we ask what should we do?

Live the Gospel story for a world that desperately needs to believe. I pray that we will rejoice as Mary Magdalene did upon seeing Jesus in the garden, “I have seen the Lord!”

Tomorrow as the sun rises remember – Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!


Jane Boatwright Wood
President, The Foundation for Evangelism

Lent and Easter – Catalyst Conversations in the Nashville Area

An expanded audio recording is available through our podcast.

Discussion Questions
  1. As you think about what you have planned for Lent and Easter, what do you hope people experience? Will your current plans facilitate this goal? If not, how can you tweak or reverse engineer the events with this goal in mind?
  2. Rev. Slowery shares about the intentionality of creating and advertising ministries and events that could connect with people dealing with a wide range of circumstances and life events. Her congregation wants their guests to know there is place for them and the church cares. How will you let guest know about upcoming opportunities or areas where they might find greater connection?
  3. We spend so much energy gearing up for major holiday celebrations that we are often exhausted and reduce activity once the season is over. This is understandable, but don’t we hope that people will respond and come back? How do we balance self-care with a plan to engage those who want to make a connection after the holiday?
  4. Rev. Ssebulime shares his struggle of wanting to measure effectiveness through counting and metrics while also just trying to be available for people without an ulterior motive or agenda. What could that look like for you personally, and in the life of your church? What relationships is God nudging you to build on?

Lent and Easter – Catalyst Conversations in Western North Carolina

An expanded audio recording is available through our podcast.

Discussion Questions
  1. Rev. Nicole Jones shares the importance of looking for God in the ordinary. Does your congregation practice looking for and naming the ways they experience God in the everyday?
  2. Rev. Jo Schonewolf talks about finding ways to connect to people who are “through with religion” and engaging with them in everyday life like volunteer opportunities in the community or online. Does your church currently provide ways to do this? Have you experienced this personally? What opportunities can you think of?
  3. Rev. Jones describes visitors as a gift from God. It isn’t their responsibility to become like us, but our privilege to meet them where they are.  Does your congregation share that mindset? Why/why not?
  4. There tends to be more openness to church and the Gospel message around important holidays like Christmas and Easter. How does your church attempt to reach out and connect with those who normally do not attend church or participate in a faith community? Do you have a plan to continue engagement with them after Easter?