Friday, April 13, 2007

Easter 2007: What Is Your Greatest Day?

Our Easter worship celebrations were a great inspiration this year. Again, God really brought things together. Of course, I've mentioned before that our theme this year was "The Greatest Day." I gave a short synopsis of the background here. Here is a recap of Easter at Hannaford...

- All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises by Paul Baloche

John 3:16 tells us that "God so loved the world, He gave His only son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

Awesome Lord: Today we celebrate Your precious gift of physical and spiritual life available through Your death and resurrection. Really, the song says it quite simply. You lived, You died, You rose, You're alive! Because of Your great love, our hearts, our lives, our world ... is forever changed. Thank you. Help us to live each day for You. We pray this in Your name, Amen.

VIDEO - Your Greatest Day?
(Special thanks to the videographers: Erica Alexander, Jesse Shirley, and Ashley Robinson.)

For many of us, our Greatest Day is when a child is born. There is something magical when there is suddenly new life when there was none before. We are forever changed.

I would imagine that God feels the same way. God LOVES new life! Jesus said in Luke 15:7 that there is "there is more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue." When we are lost and then become spiritually alive to Him ... every day that happens is God's Greatest Day ... a joyous, happy day.

- Happy Day (The Greatest Day in History) by Tim Hughes & Ben Cantelon

New life in this world ... new life though faith in God ... these are only possible because of Jesus. He died on the cross bearing our sins upon Himself. "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). But we are not ONLY forgiven, we are raised to new life in Him. Our strength, our hope, our life now comes from Him. His resurrection was ours ... and it was THE Greatest Day of all.

- My Savior My God by Aaron Shust & Dorothy Greenwell

DRAMA - Easter ... Everyday!We used the video here as inspiration. Basically Ruthie Hill did a live monologue. She sat at her computer with a camera connected as it recording an entry for "MyTube." We broadcasted the camera feed live to the big screen during the skit. Here are some minor changes we made to the video clip script:

'... Deep within the soul of every person is something that God places inside: life, purpose, hope, love. And it’s moving, stirring, wanting to come out and grow ... to be fully developed. He changes us forever ... and I don't want to deny that new life that's inside of me ... I want that "resurrection life." I want Easter ... EVERYDAY. That way everyday can be my Greatest Day. Does anybody else feel like this? I don't know, maybe I'm insane. I guess I'm rambling again ... (Clicks camera off)'

The "Resurrection Life" only come from Jesus. As we draw our power and hope from Him, He will love the world through us. Everyday can be our Greatest Day when we live the "Resurrection Life."

- Resurrection Life by Tim Timmons


- Where Would I Be? by Ed Kerr of Harvest
(Andrea solo with piano and cello)

Pastor did a good job mentioning "The Greatest Day" a few times, but the message didn't really relate to the overall theme. His message entitled "Now What?" basically made the point that there IS life after death. Whether we end up in heaven or hell depends on what we do (with Jesus?) here in this life.

Really, all of our Greatest Days are possible because of the Greatest Promise of John 3:16. Will you say it with me?

For God So Loved The World [The Greatest Action]
That He Gave His Only Son [The Greatest Sacrifice]
That Whoever Believes In Him [The Greatest Invitation]
Should Not Perish But Have Eternal Life [The Greatest Gift]

(reading inspired by this video)

He died to bring eternal life, and He lives so that death has no hold. Because He has shown victory over sin and death, and because He brings us our Greatest Days, He is the matchless King who is crowned the Lord of all Life.

- Crown Him With Many Crowns by Dan Galbraith, George Elvey, Godfrey Thring, & Matthew Bridges (Praise Charts)

We invite you to live your Greatest Day every day, through the resurrection life that Jesus Christ offers.

- Resurrection Life by Tim Timmons

One last thing. We weren't sure if the idea for the cross would come together. As it turns out, Doug did a great job on the cross (see photo above - more photos in the ePhoto gallery). At the beginning of each service as people were entering we hung a sign on the cross which read, "Can we pass the cross unchanged?" After the worship service, we turned the sign over to display the second message, "We are forever changed!"

It is so true ... we ARE forever changed! What is your Greatest Day?