Every season God provides an easy way for us to know, love, and serve our community through cultural celebrations. In just a few weeks Easter will provide an incredible opportunity to hang out with those you either live next to or those you occasionally engage within any given week (i.e. co-worker, coffee shop acquaintance/friend, etc.).
This guide is meant to be a conversation-starter, not a ‘how to’ guide. The hope is that you and your Missional Community will take advantage of the next couple of MC meetings to pray, converse and plan how the Spirit might lead you to be more intentional with Jesus and His mission during Easter weekend.
God Makes All Things New
Easter is all about celebrating how God, the maker of heaven and earth, again makes all things new through his Son, Jesus.
We live in a broken and messy world today. Many people long to have a re-start in life. Who wish they could have a do-over. The anxiety from past mistakes, failures and let downs plague the hearts and minds of most. But it was not always that way. Before sin entered into our world through humanity’s choice to choose self over God, all things were perfect and completely good in the world. But the good news is that Jesus was sent by the Father and in the Spirit’s power to remake all things as they once were. Jesus accomplished this by dying and rising for sinful humanity (Col. 1:19-20). Jesus’ work is so complete that He promises to return one day to fully and finally make all things as they were always intended. However, in the meantime, Jesus is still accomplishing this work, by sending his Spirit upon us whereby continuing his work of reconciliation and restoration!
Good Friday – God Makes All Things New By Dying
He is who we are not, but He makes us into who we long to be.
Good Friday is a strange name for the day we remember Jesus’ death. But his death was the beginning of all things being made new! What a good day!
Before humans rebelled against God, he warned them that if they rebelled, “they would surely die.” After they sinned, they were removed from the Garden, away from God’s presence, the very source of life.
Through his death on the cross, Jesus took our sin and rebellion, and paid the penalty death that we rightly should have paid. And now, through faith in Jesus, we are “new creations”! (2 Corinthians 5:17). What a good day!
Here are some practical suggestions for how your MC can remember Jesus’ death.
Activities and Discussion To Do As A Group
Please note: Any one of these activities below can be done with non-believers in the mix. Ask the Spirit if there is a friend or relationship you or someone in your MC has that would be blessed by participating in any one of the discussions and activities below. It all depends where they are currently at in regards to the discipleship continuum. Let the Spirit, our ultimate disciple-maker, lead you to discern!
1. Reflect on the Gospel story
Gather together with friends and family and read from the Gospels, break bread, and pray.
- Prepare people to take turns reading the passage, leaving space for inner-reflection.
- Start with reading Luke 22 and break bread together as you read the account of the Lord’s Supper.
- Then proceed through the next Chapter (23) remembering and reflecting on what Jesus was going through, and ultimately ending with his Death.
- The evening can be set with dim light and end without the resurrection story being read. Good Friday is meant for us to sit in the place of reflection.
2. Watch The Passion of the Christ together
- Afterward, discuss how the movie impacted you.
- In the film, what stood out to you about Jesus? Think of a specific scene.
- How have you failed in your past to live that way? Think of a specific scene from your story.
3. Read and reflect on Romans 3 – “All…fall short of the glory of God”
Discuss and process with one another how we are not like God.
- How God perfectly loves.
- How God perfectly serves.
- How God perfectly listens.
How do we fail in these areas?
- How good are we at loving people compared to Jesus?
- How good are we at serving people compared to Jesus?
- How good are we at listening to the Holy Spirit and the Father’s will compared to Jesus?
4. Participate in a Seder dinner
Traditionally this evening is for us to observe and remember Passover, God’s deliverance of His people. God delivered Israel from the bondage of slavery and He commanded us to observe this holiday. We are not to celebrate in vain, but to give thanks to Him and to recognize an even greater Passover and deliverance. Through the death of the foretold Messiah, Jesus (“Yeshua”, in Hebrew), we too will be passed over from death and released from the bondage of sin. This dinner takes some preparation so plan accordingly, but it is well worth the time and effort. Consider remembering this meal with your families. The imagery and symbolism around the meal are incredible.
- Purchase this helpful booklet, Messianic Seder Haggadah (Michael Novelli)
- Learn how to put on a Seder Dinner here
- Learn why Seder meals are valuable for a Christian here
Saturday – God Makes All Things New By Serving Others
A new people living in a New City!
Often I look at my city, Tacoma, WA, as an old city full of brokenness and impossibilities. However, God has made a new way for us, through the servant leadership of Jesus, to view Tacoma (or wherever you live!) as a New City in God’s Kingdom. With this new vision and reality, we have the ability, by the power of the Spirit, to face the impossibilities and brokenness in our city. Jesus is the greatest servant ever to live! And now by His Spirit, He gives us the ability to serve in the power and strength that he provides (1 Peter 4:10-11).
As those who have been made new, we get to meet, serve, and love new people. We get to bless others by bringing restorative work to places in our neighborhoods, workplace, and homes.
Here are some practical suggestions for how your MC can serve and bless our city.
- Neighborhood Spring Cleaning: Discuss skills, equipment, and availability within your MC. Seek out neighbors who need help with yard cleaning, house cleaning, or car issues.
- Easter Egg hunt and a meal: Put together a party and host an Easter Egg hunt and invite people in your neighborhood, workplace, and family.
- Look up more ideas on Pinterest.
While we bless people’s physical needs, don’t forget that Jesus wants to satisfy their spiritual needs. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to:
- Listen to people’s stories and share your own.
- Listen to other needs they might have.
- Share a brief overview of God’s story.
- Invite them to our Easter gathering.
Sunday – God Makes All Things New In Our Celebration
Celebrating Jesus with those who long to be made new!
In light of the resurrection of Jesus we have much to celebrate. After all, Jesus is the risen King we celebrate at the party. Let’s not hold back on the quality of food and time we share with those we are blessed to be with on Easter Sunday! This is a great day to point people who are hurting, broken, and empty because of past failures and hopeless futures to the risen Jesus who has overcome the worst things of all– sin, Satan and death. The risen Christ is the only one who can cover the shame and guilt of yesterday, and spur humanity towards a hope-filled tomorrow. Let us, as the body of Christ, ask the Spirit with whom might we be led to celebrate this amazing day!
Get together with your MC and discuss how you all can together throw a celebration for those in your neighborhood and/or workplace.
Here are some practical suggestions for how your MC can celebrate Easter Sunday.
Preparing For Easter Sunday
Discuss these questions with your MC in light of the resurrection of Jesus:
- What are the significant moments or “game changer” moments in your lives that brought you much joy or pain?
- What dreams or hopes do you have that you may believe, or in the past believed, would bring you joy and satisfaction? (Think of big ones!)
- How do these moments either point to Jesus’ resurrection as being better, or how does his resurrection speak hope specifically to the moment in mind?
- Easter is a great day to reflect on how the powerful implications of Jesus’ resurrection connect specifically to our personal lives. In your discussion talk about how his resurrection brings a better hope. Or his resurrection brings healing to past pains. Or how his resurrection brings a better joy than your past and greatest joys.
Possible conversations to have at your Easter Sunday brunch:
- The hope you have in Jesus that moves you to spend time loving friends, neighbors, and co-workers by blessing them with an amazing celebration on Easter Sunday.
- Maybe as you all are sitting around eating and conversing, you can have everyone share what Easter traditions they had growing up. Follow up by also asking “Why do they celebrate Easter?”
Ways to serve your guests during the party:
- Make great meals that involve much thought, time, and energy.
- Be mindful of their needs by asking if you can refresh their drinks, get them more food, or anything for that matter!
- Be intentional in talking to them and learning more about them, being watchful for anyone who seems to be feeling out of place or without someone to talk to
- If Jesus is the King of the celebration then he is the real host. And if Jesus is the host He is always looking to serve others, which is good news because He is the best servant! So we get to regularly ask the Spirit who to help and how to help! This will actually make the celebration all the more fun and meaningful. We get to party with the risen King!
Ongoing Opportunities to Love, Serve, Share, and Learn
If God has blessed you with the opportunity to meet new people, be sure to make plans with following up with them. An example of this could be inviting them over for dinner. Continue to pursue them with invites over to dinner, coffee conversations, and possibly serve particular needs you became aware of. Continue to listen for their needs that only Jesus can meet, and pray for opportunities to share the good news. Don’t forget to involve your bigger church family via MC and gatherings.
Also, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to grow as disciples! God has made us into his disciples (which translates into learners). Therefore, we are made to always be learning from him. A party, like Easter brunch, is a great time of learning how to grow as his disciple. In fact, some of the best learning experiences we can have is processing with our MCs after a party experience together.
Something you might want to do: At your next MC meeting after the Easter party, have your group process together what the brunch was like. This will be a good time to talk about how you can learn from your experience together in order to be more intentional as a family of missionary servants in the future. You will be surprised how much solid equipping can come from processing with your MC after a party. You might find some of your people don’t even consider the presence of the Spirit in the midst of a party. This is a great way to process and learn together!
Good questions to ask:
- What was the Spirit saying to you during the party?
- How did you respond?
- How many people’s stories did you learn about it, and what are particular things we can be praying about for our friends?
- This also may lead into a time of repentance and worship of Jesus.
I hope this has been helpful. May Jesus be made much of this Easter!
How has your MC engaged in Easter on mission together?
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