Photo by Maila Kue
Even though it is the day after the Easter Celebration, I am still glowing from the blessings that God poured out to our church. We hit a lot of key markers at this Easter. We have seen the highest number of people attending an Easter Celebration in our 15 year history. We have seen the largest number of newcomers in any church gathering we have had in the history of our church. We have seen the largest number of people receiving Christ in one gathering. We have seen more members in our church come together serve for a gathering. And the list goes on.
It is pretty humbling. All we can do is give God all the glory.
The most exciting part for me is to hear about all the first time commitments that people made to follow Jesus Christ. Even talking and praying with people after the Easter Celebration, I sensed that God was moving and speaking to the hearts of people.
As another Easter is recorded in HMCC’s annals, I realized that this Easter was a special one for us. It is not just because of the key markers that we hit, but rather some of the key lessons that God was trying to teach us (again).
Here are some lessons that God reminded me of throughout our whole preparation:
2) TRUST – Once the venues opened up, we realized that we did not budget the rental of the Easter facility for the 2012 budget. This was not a good situation because the rental of the facility would cost some money which we did not have. As the Board of Directors and I prayed, we concluded that it was God’s will for us to have our Easter Celebration at the iconic Michigan Theater and that we needed to trust in God. Therefore as we moved forward with this decision, the people of God stepped up and gave generously. It is humbling to know that when God gives us a vision, He will always provide the provisions because He is always “for” (pro-) His vision to come to reality. God always honors those who honor Him in obedience no matter what the cost.
3) TEAMWORK – Every time I think about the commitment level of our church members, I am just humbled and grateful. Months before the Easter Celebration, many people invested their time and energy in getting things ready. Then on the morning of Easter, many of them got up early in the morning (4:30AM!!) and some even stayed up all night to get everything prepared. It was great to see every ministry team in our church working together to make Easter Celebration all about Jesus. The more I think about it, the more I realize how I just play a little part in the overall worship experience. While the preaching of the Word is important, there are so many other things that go into an Easter Celebration. I am thankful that I am part of an incredible team. When all different types of people from all different lifestages can come together to serve God, it is one of the most powerful testimonies to God’s love and grace.
4) TRUTH – Too often people are afraid to invite their friends to church because they think that their friend might feel uncomfortable, especially during the preaching or even the worship time. But we have to be convinced that unless the truth of the Gospel is preached and the power of God is experienced, people will not come to place in their lives to trust in Jesus Christ. This is why both, truth and grace are needed. It is always tempting for the preacher to “water-down” the truth because there are a lot of new people or even pre-Christians in the audience. But as we unapologetically preach the truth in love, then we know God will take care of the rest. Ultimately, it is the Truth of God’s Word and promises that will set a person free (Jn 8:32). This is why it was encouraging to see many people respond for the first time to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
I am still amazed that God allows me to be a part of all this. The journey keeps on getting better and better with each passing year. Even now, I’m looking ahead to next year’s Easter!