By Pastor Mike Mitchum
In my sermon a few weeks ago I told a story about Marv and Dottie. They were friends with my mother and father back in the sixties. My dad and Marv met each other when they volunteered to lead my Cub Scout pack. I remember they laughed a lot when they were together. Little did I know then that Marv and Dottie would change my life.
They were an ordinary suburban couple. Dottie raised the kids while Marv brought home the paycheck. They were just like my parents, with one notable exception. They went to church.
My dad was a well liked. It seemed that everyone in town knew him. When we were out and about I would almost always hear someone call out, “Hey Mitch!” I was proud to be with him. I remember my mom would often joke, “The only place we could go where you wouldn’t know someone is church!” She was probably right. We never went to church. I didn’t know a thing about churches or religion. My dad probably figured “the walls would fall down,” if he set foot in church. He would have been much more comfortable at a bar or a bowling alley.
Marv knew this about my dad, but it didn’t stop him from inviting us to go to church with them. There was a special program there for Christmas. Marv talked it up, and issued the invitation. I don’t know why my dad agreed to go. Maybe it was the fact that since Marv went to church and was his friend, my mom could never say again, “The only place we could go where you wouldn’t know someone is church!”
Whatever the reason, we went. My mom, dad, sister, brothers and I all showed up. We liked it. The Christmas program was a drama. I was mesmerized and I wanted to go to the youth group they talked about.
My mom and dad must have talked about going back. I wish now I could have heard that conversation. It must have been significant because we returned. We went back again and again. In fact, we, who had a routine that did not include church on Sundays, went every week.
We all became Christians. Our family was changed for the better because of our relationship with Jesus. Faith became a vital part of our lives from that point on.
As I write this, I feel the gratitude in my heart for Marv and Dottie. Because they invited the Mitchum family to church, our lives were changed forever.
On Easter Sunday, we will be having a breakfast before both services. I will be performing a first person drama during the service. I’ve planned this because I know there are people out there (our friends and neighbors) who are open to coming to church on Easter. I want to present the story of Easter in a way that might capture the imagination of someone who does not attend church. I have planned it so that some others might have their lives changed for the better.
I am writing this to you so that you might consider doing what Marv and Dottie did. They invited some friends to church. Please prayerfully consider inviting someone for Easter Sunday morning. It will give us all the opportunity to see lives changed for the better.