Wow! How’s that for articulate. Easter weekend capped off an astounding week. The Ed’s eye view is kind of blurry. But I’ll give it a shot.
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICES – The day in many ways for me is the most meaningful of the year. I’ve taken to setting my watch alarm to a lot of the key times in the day. (Check out the previous blog post for details). Then we launch our two Good Friday services. Ever since we started to do them we’ve tried to make them interactive and to take communion together. It’s always an amazing time. The message and interactive element had to do with the sign that was nailed above Jesus head. I spoke briefly explaining the process and reason for the sign. We found a 14th century depiction of it & copied it onto an over-sized piece of plywood. Then as we took communion we dipped our fingers in blood red finger paint and wrote our own names on various version of the sign. As they filled up we hung them on a giant cross in the middle of the room. It was powerful. The innocent one bearing guilt, our guilt, my guilt!
EASTER, EASTER, EASTER – You know it’s coming, but you are never really ready and you are always overwhelmed. I knew it was going to be crowded when our 8:00 service was full. Not packed, but full. That’s the one we think of as taking the pressure off the other two.
VIDEO – We kicked off with a striking video taking you up to Easter. Our video genius, Dan Stevers, worked his magic. This flowed into a powerful DANCE. I love how God has raised up so many artists of various stripes at Journey.
THE MUSIC ROCKED – Our team was so amazing. The great thing about a Church like Journey is that we don’t have to be something we are not on invite intensive weekends. Basically we just put an extra coat of wax on & take off. About a month ago, Jason brought an idea for a song by 30 Seconds to Mars for the Easter services. We wrestled a little and I’m so glad we went with it. It was perfect! Our team killed it! I think it was maybe the high point of the weekend. I know it is still in my head. Click here to see their video. I honestly liked our team better, but hey…
MESSAGE ON FAITH – Easter and Christmas present a unique challenge. They feel different than any other service. We probably have somewhere around 100 new people at Journey on any given weekend. But on these weekends there is a critical mass of people that don’t regularly go to church. Of course there is some reason why people who don’t go to church don’t go to church. It’s not because they think it’s going to be so awesome they just couldn’t deal! To be honest these messages are the most challenging ones of the year. But they are also the most fun. I love the opportunity to speak about Jesus to people that aren’t in the “already convinced” camp.
(notice, actual shoes – who says we don’t dress up for Easter!)
INVITE TEMP – One of the thing we really pray about this time of year is “Invite Temperature.” N.T. Wright says… We can’t really be healthy followers of Christ without what you might call an invite orientation – on in which we are living out the part of the Great Commission that has us in the world of people that are far from God. What’s way fun is when someone we’ve been inviting actually takes a step. For me it was cool to have a friend I’ve been inviting for a while, show up a couple of times – on Palm Sunday & Good Friday. Church looks different sitting by someone who doesn’t regularly go to Church. We all need this perspective once in a while.
Holy Week’s over, but the great thing about what happened that 1st Good Friday / Easter weekend is that it made the rest of the weeks Holy.