Why is it that Easter sneaks up on so many Protestants each year? There are probably several reasons for this:
- Culturally we have come to associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, beer, and beads (in that order) and have forgotten its origins . . . the last day before the Easter season begins.
- Liturgically, many protestant churches have jettisoned the church calendar that has Ash Wednesday, Lent, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday to prepare us for a celebration of the resurrection of Christ on Easter morning.
- Chronologically, the date of Easter moves each year causing us to have to “look up” the date of this celebration.
- Spiritually, we fail to properly remember and reflect upon the amazing gift given to us through the old rugged cross and the empty tomb.
Whatever the reasons, for many Easter Sunday springs forward on us like a person who forgot to set their clocks ahead on the Sunday morning of daylight savings time . . . we end up being an “hour late” to the celebration of our risen Savior. When this happens, we rush through the motions on Easter weekend, caring as much about the color of our children’s clothing than the gift we have been given in Christ.
Let’s make a pact, shall we? Let’s not let that happen this year. This year, as the people of God at Wildwood Community Church, let’s not allow Easter to sneak up on us. Let’s spend the week before Easter preparing our hearts for worship of the risen Savior on Easter morning. After all, the joy the disciples felt on the third day grew out of their sorrow on Friday. Let’s take the next week and prepare for a massive celebration of the empty tomb by looking back at the cross.
In order to aid in this journey, Wildwood has two services designed to help prepare us for East morning. The first service will be this Sunday, March 28 (at either 9:30 or 10:50 AM) when we will begin our Easter series “Cross Over (From Death to Life)” with a look at what the cross provides for us. I will be preaching a message from 1 Peter 1:1-2 entitled “Chosen for Change” and will look at the life change God has planned for those who “cross over” through the power of the cross.
Then, on Friday night, April 2, we are hosting a “Stations of the Cross” experience in our worship center from 6-8 PM. This will be a come and go time where you can self-pace through 10 stations of reflection (including communion) of what Christ has done for us through His death on the cross. While anyone is welcome Friday night, the setting might not be the best for small children. The gym will be open during the night and parents can take turns going through the worship center while another parent stays with children in the gym (NOTE: Please do not leave your children unattended. We will not have staff in the gym, but will have the gym open so you can rotate through the stations if you wish.) Children are welcome to participate if the parents feel it is appropriate.
Finally, on Sunday, April 4 (at either 9:30 or 10:50 AM) we will have our Easter Sunday celebration of the life Christ provides. Pastor Bruce Hess will be preaching out of Revelation 1.
We hope to see you at all of these services this Easter season. Remember, He is risen! He is risen indeed!
3 thoughts on “Cross Over This Easter at Wildwood Community Church”
Mark—thanks for this post. I’m really looking forward to celebrating Christ’s resurrection together at Wildwood this year. I also deeply appreciate the ways you and the rest of Wildwood’s leaders are really putting the gospel in the forefront of the congregation’s minds. That’s something that we all deeply need on a regular basis.
Hey Mark: It’s Rachel (Redman) here–your sister’s buddy from Arkansas. I now live in Scottsdale, AZ. Your sister passed along your blog to me a couple of week’s ago and I’ve finally found a moment to go on and take a peek (ok, I’m actually simultaneously listening to a conference call for work on our “so-called” healthcare reform). Anyway, I can’t believe how wonderful this is as of course, I remember watching you play basketball in high school (remember I came with Debbie to that game?). You have, as they say, matured into quite a young man and I know Ms. Beverly and Mr. Dick are so proud. Debbie is also keeping me in the loop with regards to Kimberly’s health and please know that we are praying for you. I’m at my computer some every day and have my nice “mac” sitting behind my laptop-which I am a slave to. 🙂 So I plan to review your blog daily as this is something I have been looking for –a quick read to keep me focused. Thanks for all you do–for your church community and those who you have impacted throughout your blessed life.
Chris – as always, thanks for the encouragement. Thanks also for the shout out on your blog! I appreciate you guys.
Rachel, thanks for the kind words and glad you found the blog. I just saw Debbie last weekend. It was the first time we had seen them since Thanksgiving and it was great to catch up. Hope all is well in Scottsdale and I’ll talk to you soon.