Sunday morning at E-Free is always an exciting and inspirational worship service. But this morning was absolutely one of those WOW Sundays that will always be remembered.
We are in the middle of a series on the life of Noah that we are calling, "The Noah Factor: All Are Welcome!" Each week has been exciting with an ark built on our stage and Noah himself being active during each sermon. But this Sunday took an even more creative spin as we reached the point in the text where Noah had finished the ark and the animals paraded on board.
As we brainstormed this series two months ago, we talked as a Creative Ideas Group of how we could create an even greater connection for our church to this amazing story. We talked about how wonderful it would be if we could put animals all through the foyer and in the auditorium. I have to be honest, I was thinking "stuffed toy animals." But our Creative Ideas Group is amazing. They took the idea to a whole new level!
As people showed up at church this morning, all throughout the foyer around the Gospel Center we had fully mounted animals - not just heads...the whole animal mounted in action positions. They looked so real. There were lions, deer, bears, warthogs, hyenas and many more. One of the animals was laying on top of the main Welcome Center.
Up on the stage there were real animals - rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks and a rooster. Now the rooster stole the show, He gave his "cock-a-doodle-do" throughout the whole service. Through the worship he would "cock-a-doodle-do!" During the child dedication he would "cock-a-doodle-do!" And after every other sentence of my sermon (if you were there you know that I am not exaggerating) he would give his "cock-a-doodle-do!" I just pretended he was shouting out his own feathered "Amen!" It was great!!!!!
Hopefully, people left church this morning talking about the whole service. As they remember the animals, it is my hunch that they will more readily remember the main thrust of the morning's teaching which was that God is a God who does judge sin! But before He judges sin, He first creates a way of escape and gives opportunity for people to believe His Word and find salvation. He did this through the ark back in Noah's day and He is doing it through Jesus day.
And all God's people said? "Cock-a-doodle-do!"