Ok so not all church services are always so inspiring. But Easter 2016 sure affected me and it is still playing in my head weeks later. Maybe it helped that I had run five miles listening to Scripture in my iPod before coming to church. As the sun came up and I thought to myself, “This is so beautiful. I’ve always pictured the first Easter being like this.”
Then, when the music began during the church service, the congregation stood and began to reflect the same joyous zeal the worship team was bringing to the service. I had never associated these songs with Easter, but the lyrics directed us to the living Christ. By the time we got to the refrain, “Oh happy day, happy day, He washed my sins away,” the congregation was clapping, raising hands, and singing as though Jesus had just entered the room. When the song ended everyone spontaneously began to cheer out of joy.
Then, ten young ladies in white flowing robes with purple shawls stepped onto the platform. Each of them held a multi-colored ribbon fastened to a long rod. They presented an interpretive dance a moving rendition of I Know That My Redeemer Lives. The combination of the music and the dance moved some to tears and most everyone to a standing ovation.
Who would ever think that the offering would be a point of joy in a church service? But this year, the church gave away all of the offering of $37,000 to needs around the world from Albany Park, Chicago to Guinea, West Africa.
The sermon was short and to the point. The service concluded with a rousing rendition of the old hymn, Christ the Lord is Risen Today.
It was as though He was with us.