Celebrate Jesus

by Pastor Tim White

We have been building up to Easter by studying the Book of Mark. Half of this Gospel is about the Passion of Christ. St. Mark was a teenage boy who followed Jesus, so he was not alive during the first Christmas. But he is mentioned repeatedly in the Book of Acts. First, as an assistant to Paul and then after he fell, he was picked up by Peter who knew something about grace, and the need to restore the fallen. He writes this earliest Gospel with the passion of a teenager. And we are investigating how learning the Passion of Jesus can impact the passion in our lives.

Do you have all the passion you want for life? How about for your family, your job, your contagious enjoyment of life--do you have all the passion you want? Well this Easter in our Church we are going to learn about becoming passionate followers of Jesus Christ. This week, I am looking at the believer’s authority because of the passion of Jesus. I call the message “Celebrate Jesus” and we are kicking off Holy Week with a great Palm Sunday service.

During this lead up to Easter we will be reaching out to the world with the Good News of Easter! We are going to be celebrating Jesus by observing with an incredible, Good Friday Service at 7:00 pm as Pastor Linda teaches us the meaning of the cross of Christ. Do you live under the authority of Jesus when you receive forgiveness or miraculously given forgiveness? It is so important to learn about the cross in becoming fully alive.

And then on Saturday Dr. Marty Folsom is leading a very creative service at 5:30 on Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday was observed by the early church and focused on the ‘in-between’ times. In between the cross and the resurrection. It is so important because grief is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, witnesses of God and eternity. All of us will spend some time when we are in that difficult moment where faith is required; when we don’t have the answers and we are in-between the cross and the resurrection. Special Guests: Scott and Hillary Burnett are going to be there to share musically and to help Marty deliver this message. There will be a dramatic example of the message with body painting by a young artist.

For the kids, at 4:00pm on Saturday, we are celebrating with an Easter Egg Hunt in the indoor pool. Pastor Josh is going to share the Easter story with this large community of children. And there will be Bounce House and happy fellowship as a community.

Early Easter morning we will celebrate Sunrise in the sanctuary in front of the waterfall and empty tomb. Our Youth Pastor Josh Zappone will be setting the table with a powerful message for those who want to fully celebrate the entire Easter Sunday. What a way to start Easter with the enthusiasm of a youthful service at 7:00 AM.

And finally, the Easter Pageant at 9:30 am. I am going to be telling the Easter Story to kids on stage, so they get a front row seat. And we have a Christ-inspired actor playing Jesus. When he speaks the words of Jesus it will be impossible to not be caught up in this grand story. For the rest of their lives these kids will be asking questions about Easter that will “rock the world.” The music will be awesome! I believe it will be the best Easter worship we have ever presented as a church!

Pastor David has prepared a delicious Easter Breakfast served from 8:00 to 11:00 am.

At 11:00am the second Pageant starts which will be packed with young families ready to not only enjoy the dramatic retelling of the story, but a fun Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival on top of our beautiful grassy hill at 12:30pm.

Can you tell I am excited for this Passion Week starting with Palm Sunday? Come and check us out - bring a friend. You will catch the passion for life.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White