Archives For Easter

Dread and Awe

April 6, 2012

Easter weekend is finally here. Of all the major church holidays we celebrate, this (extended) weekend is my favorite. From Maundy Thursday’s celebration of the Last Supper to Good Friday’s reflection on the death of Jesus. But Easter is the capstone. It’s the crescendo we’ve been building to since Christmas.

This year, I’m seeing it in a different light. No longer just an awe-filled celebration of victory over death, but also a dread-filled moment where we step back and realize exactly who it is we serve. It’s the healthy fear of the Lord that we hear about throughout the Scriptures. It’s the logic-defying truth that God is even bigger than death, a concept our limited minds can not truly understand.

Read on for this week’s cover article in the announcements.

Recently, we showed a section of the Gospel of John in worship about the resurrection of Lazarus. I experienced the story from a new perspective that day. Oftentimes, I miss the feelings behind stories—the mood. Music and solid acting really conveyed the sense of dread and awe the people must have felt at seeing Lazarus walk out of the tomb. My heart flutters just thinking of being there first-hand to witness it.

Flash forward to “Good” Friday, and Jesus is dying on the cross. After He dies, His friends are mourning and distraught. Because it was Friday, there was not time to prepare the burial spices and ointments, so Jesus was laid in a tomb until after the Sabbath. But what His friends found that first Easter morning was the unexpected.

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Luke 24:5

What dread and awe must the women have felt upon hearing these words? Or Peter, as he ran to the tomb to confirm the news of Jesus’ resurrection himself, upon entering and seeing only the cloths? Or the two men on the road to Emmaus, whose hearts burned within them as Jesus secretly taught them along the way?

Two-thousand years later, do you feel the same dread and awe? Jesus, who was dead, is alive. It defies logic. It is incomprehensible. It’s awesome and fills me with dread at the same time.

Jesus is risen. He is indeed. Alleluia!

Lenten Worship Backgrounds

February 22, 2012

2015 Update: Check out the expanded version of these slides.

Last year, we used a pretty basic Lenten Worship background. We used purple for most of the season with a pine needles texture to give it some depth. Good Friday was all black except for the same cross emblem we were using. Easter was a completely different design.

I wanted a more cohesive set this year that flowed from Ash Wednesday through Easter. I used this tutorial as the basis for the set we’re using. In addition to the backgrounds, we have matching posters inviting people to worship, plus a series of graphics that will appear on our website for the various special worship times during the season.

Here’s the complete set for use in your church if you’d like. The colors are fairly dark because the projector lightens them up a bit when they’re on the wall. It also improves the readability onscreen for the text of the service.

Lent (Wednesday Services)

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Easter

40 Days

February 25, 2009

Today is Ash Wednesday.  We begin the countdown to the celebration of Easter today, but first we reflect on our own sinfulness and our need for a Savior as we approach Good Friday.  It’s a great time of the church year, leading to my favorite Sunday of the year, Easter Sunday.

Of course, Easter Sunday will be even more special this year (scroll to the bottom of the post).

Easter 2008

March 24, 2008

Easter was a wonderful time, as usual, at First Trinity this weekend.  If you felt like the church was a lot more crowded than usual, that’s because it was.  Total attendance for the last three years:

  • 2006: 596 People
  • 2007: 625 People (4.9% increase)
  • 2008: 735 People (17.6% increase)

That’s quite a jump in attendance, and we’re not entirely certain why.  We think it has to do with the lack of a week-long break following Easter, so more people are in town.  Despite the higher church attendance, it seems like the Breakfast did not see the same increase.  Some stats for the breakfast:

  • ~200 people served
  • 40 dozen eggs consumed
  • 45 lbs of ham consumed
  • 300 Pancakes
  • 10 Gallons of orange juice
  • 3 Gallons of milk

It was a wonderful morning to hear the great news of Christ’s resurrection.  You can enjoy the sermon online if you missed it.  Pastor Chuck did a great job, also as usual.

He is Risen!

March 23, 2008

His is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Easter is my favorite holiday of the year.  I love the Easter hymns, the joyful feeling in the air, the traditional Easter greeting and celebrating the resurrection together as a church family.  A wonderful day!