He is risen! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to celebrate this fact come Sunday here at the Gaylord E-Free Church! We are praying for 1500 people to attend between our two services. The two services will be identical starting at 9am and 11am, both in the Gospel Center Auditorium. There will be a full nursery and an exciting children’s program through fourth grade both services as well.
What can you expect this Sunday if you celebrate Easter with us? The theme is “Seeing Easter” as we will be asking the question, “How do you see the empty tomb?” From the moment people drive onto the campus there will be people outside, in the foyer areas, and even on the stage “looking at” or “looking through” a variety of items (telescopes, Viewmasters, I-Pads, etc.) to set the theme of “Seeing!”
The stage has been designed to be more contemporary this year with a lot of lighting and colors. There are eight panels as part of the stage design that will look like really cool colored panels (seen above) until towards the end of the service. At this point, backlighting will be turned on and these panels will spell out a special message! I think it will have a very visual and powerful effect. By the way, for our Community Good Friday Service this Friday from Noon – 1pm. The panels will have a red tint to them.
The Easter service will start with an I-PAD band playing the song “I Can See Clearly Now.” No instruments will be used – just I-Phones and I-Pads. The words of the song introduces the theme of the morning as we want everyone to “see” the story of Easter and the empty tomb “clearly.” The music and worship will be very lively with a celebratory feel to it. We will also be using the Christmas Carol “Angels From The Realms Of Glory” but with Easter lyrics to the tune. There will also be two different videos used. One will introduce people to our church and the other will continue to communicate the idea of “Seeing Easter Clearly.”
I will be preaching from the Easter account seen in the Gospel of John as the word “saw” is used three times but each time with a different meaning. At first, John “saw” the empty tomb (meaning he took a quick glance). Many people will come to church this Easter doing the same. They are simply taking a “quick glance” at the empty tomb because it’s Easter.
Peter then “saw” the empty tomb but this word means “to investigate.” Some will come this Easter with more than a quick glance in mind. They will be checking out the claims of Christ and seeing if there really is something to the empty tomb.
Then John “saw” the empty tomb again. This time the word “saw” means “to see and understand.” He believed that Jesus really did rise from the dead. We are praying that there will be many this Easter who are ready to do the same – to cross that line of faith and believe!
I can't wait to celebrate Easter this Sunday here at Gaylord E-Free! If you are anywhere near northern Michigan, I hope you will join us in "Seeing Easter!"