He is Risen!
Easter is such a wonderful day, and this one in particular was truly special. I could go on about Easter for thousands of words, but I don’t think that you or I have time for that — there’s much to do, after all! But with how abundant God’s work was this year, I can’t help but spend some time reflecting on all that’s happened.
Though our Thursday night Cantata was derailed by a storm, Good Friday proved to be a powerful time of reflection. We gathered together in the Grove to remember the pain and torturous death that Jesus endured on our behalf, and to recognize that the Gospel was proclaimed even in the bitter hours of the cross. We sang and prayed together, and then enjoyed a brief song/Passion play from Randy and Teresa Smith — looking around the room, I could see that hearts were touched that evening. After that I was blessed to preach my first Good Friday sermon on the centurion who saw Jesus’ death (you can listen here if you missed it), and we dismissed with one final song.
Our Easter Festival on Saturday was, for lack of a better phrase, a time of beautiful chaos. After much planning, hard work, and time spent in preparation, we had around 200 kids and their parents come to enjoy a beautiful, windy afternoon. When the time for the egg hunt came and the children were unleashed into the field, nearly 2000 eggs were found and collected in under 5 minutes.
And finally, Easter Sunday arrived. We were blessed to have families come together to worship in the Grove, and it was nice to have the opportunity to meet some new people. Then we were able to get together to do what southern Protestants do best — enjoy some excellent food together. As everyone finished eating and the choir got ready for their big moment, I was being prepared alongside the other narrators to play our parts in the Easter Cantata.
And friends, it was beautiful.
The choir sang song after song telling the story of Jesus Christ, delivering news of the amazing work He did during His life and the powerful victory of the resurrection. When they had finished giving their message, I was able to preach my first Easter sermon, which proved to be a powerful experience for me as well (listen here). Though I’d written it just days before, something about the sanctuary, the cantata, and the crowd made the words more than I ever could have. I can say with confidence that God worked on Easter morning, at least in my own heart.
Thank you all for making Holy Week and Easter an amazing time of worship. I’m so excited that we’ll get to worship together for many more Sundays to come!
Rev. Zac Langer