I am partial to celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. I like enjoying the decorations and tress I have at home for a bit longer, especially after the celebrations that fill December before the 24th. But now that the 12th day has past, we move into the church time of Epiphany.
Last Sunday, on Epiphany Sunday, we recalled the visit to the Christ Child by the magi. Why did they come? What were they looking for? Did they find it? Good questions to have for Epiphany. As we completed our Christmas Season, we began this shift to the season of Epiphany. Just as the magi came seeking Christ, this season we shift as church towards those seeking Christ, too.
It is no longer truth to say that “everyone attends church” or that “everyone believes in Jesus Christ.” Actually, I don’t think it ever was completely true. But certainly today, with people under 55 not attending church as much as their parents or grandparents, or more truthfully not attending at all, we who DO seek Christ need to also seek others on behalf of Christ.
So this month, lets commit to an Epiphany focus. A goal. As the community of Bay Shore, let us all be challenged to invite persons to join us as we attend worship, participate in events, and engage in other opportunities we are offering this month. Research shows that those growing churches you see—their members have a constant invitation extended to people they encounter. Research also shows that a person invited to church by a friend will almost always come, and an invited person is more likely to join the church than someone who wanders in, looking on their own.
The Outreach Committee, Staff and Council are strongly behind this initiative. We feel it is the best way to open our church to others, to expand our membership and help those who are seeking find what they need—love, acceptance, fellowship, and a safe place to talk about faith.
So, beginning now, ask others to join you here at Bay Shore. If someone says no, it’s ok. Don’t take it personally. But don’t stop asking others to join you. People are seeking for a community to call their own every day—you may be the star leading them here on behalf of God.
Blessings to you, and yes, a blessed Epiphany Season to you and your loved ones.
May God bless you today and every day,