Easter and Christmas. Both of these holidays tend to draw even casual Christians to a local church. But one pastor says that church is the wrong place to celebrate Resurrection Day.
That one pastor is Eric Foley. Foley is pastor of the Doers of The Word Evangelical Church, which meets simultaneously in Colorado Springs and in Seoul, Korea. As Foley sees it, the Bible clearly shows that the proper place to celebrate Easter is on the road.
“Lock the front door of the church on Easter morning and post a sign there that says, ‘He is not here—He is risen,'” says Foley. “That’s the message the angel shares when the women come to anoint Jesus’ body on Easter morning: ‘Go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Whether it’s the disciples who meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus or the apostles who are called out of the Upper Room and on to Galilee, the Easter message is clear: If you want to meet Jesus, hit the road!”
In his new book, The Whole Life Offering: Christianity as Philanthropy, Foley details a one year plan for growing in Christian maturity through seven spiritual disciplines of loving God and 10 outreach disciplines of loving neighbor. Easter Sunday, he says, is the perfect day to practice both through acts of service in one’s community.
“In the early church, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ meant more than dressing up and going to church before a family dinner,” Foley says. “It was the starting line for discipleship. New believers joined Christ in his death and resurrection—and in hitting the road to share the love of God. Whether at a soup kitchen, a park, or a mall, Easter is a day best spent looking for —and sharing—Jesus in the community.”
Do you agree with Pastor Foley? Should believers hit the road or unite together in church—or both?