I have the awesome opportunity each Monday and Wednesday to volunteer at the Helping Center, a ministry of First Baptist Spartanburg. For those of you who don't know, the center is open three days a week and is able to assist with food, clothing, and financial assistance to those in need. It's a great avenue to share with people about the hope that I have in Christ and I try to do that each time I volunteer. I normally serve by doing intake, which allows me the opportunity to ask lots of questions like their name and address and what moneys they receive, etc. But I also get to ask them if they go to church and where, which sometimes leads to more spiritual questions. Well, this week I added the questions, "Are you going this Sunday because it's Easter? and What's so special about Easter?" I think in the back of my mind I thought more people would give me the "church" answer - but sadly only 2 could remotely come close to sharing what Easter was all about. Out of 19 sweet ladies, many of whom had told me that they go to church and were active in their churches, only 2... The others gave me answers like "isn't it Jesus' birthday?" or "it's got something to do with that easter bunny, right?" I even had one precious lady that just said, "you know darling, I just don't know..." I kinda liked her honesty because I was really able to share at that point!!
My heart just broke - here in Spartanburg, SC, surrounded by churches and "Christians", only 2 knew the reason why we celebrate Easter. I've had quite a few emotions about this fact. I've been angry. I've questioned. I've blamed. I've been sad. I've felt guilty.
But sadly - the facts are the facts and the truth remains - we have much work here to do, right here in Spartanburg. If 2 out of 19 knew nothing of the Easter Story, how many more do not know that Jesus died, Jesus rose and because of his death we have salvation! What a story... and it's so simple to share! I hope that you'll share the simple story this week. Or, if you have questions about this story - Dan and I would love to share and answer your questions!