1. Good Friday
This is up there as one of my most favorite services of the year. The combination of silence, songs, Scriptural reflections, and prayer draws you powerfully into that most horrible and most excellent Friday. How can your heart not be stirred when singing songs like What Have We Done? And then, seven of our guys did an outstanding job sharing a reflection from the passion narrative. Through them, we encountered Peter’s denial, Barabbas’ aquittal, the thief’s plea, Mary’s caretaker, the bystanders’ insults, the Centurion’s confession, and Joseph of Arimathea’s honorable act. A visitor summed it up wonderfully stating,
I just wanted to tell you how much my husband & I enjoyed the Good Friday service. It was beautiful! It really amazed me how many people spoke on scripture with such eloquence & passion. It is really evident that the spirit is present in your church community. Thanks again for allowing us to be part of that special night.
2. Workday Saturday
Nearly twenty of our folks spent the early part of Saturday working at the church property. This ranged from planting flowers, to clearing bushes, to cleaning hallways, to moving a 400 pound tank, and removing our stairway handrail (that last one wasn’t on the agenda – just the team getting carried away!). All in all, so many people put in so much good effort. The cherry on top was that a neighbor came by (again) to thank us for our work on the property. Simply clearing the brush by his fence has helped us build a friendly relationship with our neighbor. Grateful for our people who serve like Jesus.
3. Easter Sunday
The weather was beautiful. The service was packed. We sang passionately of the resurrection, yet were joyfully outdone by our kids. Good news was proclaimed from the pulpit: Jesus rose from the dead and that means death will die! Death is not a friend. It’s a foe. Like a champion boxer with an undefeated record, death has knocked out the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. 100 billion TKOs. Undefeated.
But Easter means that there is now a 1 in the loss column.
And that 1 loss makes all the difference! Death is a foe, but a defeated foe! Through Christ’s resurrection, the once mighty foe Death now acts like a gardener that plants us in the ground from where we will spring forth to resurrection life. And when Christ returns, death will be destroyed. Death will be put six feet under. No more cancer, or stray bullets, or car accidents, or miscarriages, or drug overdoses, or heart attacks. Death itself will die. So this Easter, with Paul, we said,
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?