Celebrating Easter 2013
As Easter approached this year, we were challenged as a community to approach it differently. For many weeks leading up to Easter, we were able to hear story after story of the ways that Heaven was crashing into the world that we live in.
Then, during Easter Week, we asked what it would look like for us to slow down, spend time with God each day, take initiative to invite those in proximity to us, and most importantly, to pray for people to come to know Him on Sunday. We saw God move in big ways over the course of the week, and are grateful to look back and celebrate what He did:
24/7 PRAYER AND PRAYER WALK
Monday of Easter week, we prayed for an unbroken period of 168 hours. On Thursday, prayer moved to the Amphitheatre, and people were encouraged to walk around and pray for the seats, the stage, and the people who would be filling both.
SPONSOR A SEAT
As we prepared for Easter, we believed that people would encounter and be transformed by Jesus – and we had the chance to put our money where our hearts were. Through Sponsor a Seat, we were given the unique opportunity to come alongside RH and play a part in sharing the financial responsibilities of making Easter Sunday happen.
Volunteer night has become a tradition for our ROCKHARBOR family. Hundreds of people from all campuses and communities joined together to share a meal together, set up the venue for the services, and most importantly pray toward what God would do on Easter morning. People who have called RH home for a decade and those who are just now making RH home were able to come together to play a valuable part in making Easter services happen.
Each campus held its own Good Friday service, and was able to look at the significance of the sacrifice that Jesus made in a unique way. Although it might have looked different at each campus, through the reading of Scripture and the creative arts, we all were challenged to ponder the depth of our own personal sin and failures, as well as the overall brokenness of our world. Then, in stark contrast, a picture of the light was painted. We were able to reflect on the true beauty that is Christ, the man who entered this dark and desolate world to declare victory over all the brokenness that had entered and marked our world.
AN EASTER TOGETHER
We gathered with thousands of believers from all over the county to worship God. Francis Chan challenged us to shift our perspective – to go from viewing the Church as separate, isolated gatherings – but instead to come alongside each and advance the Gospel as a united body. Together, we interceded for Easter gatherings, cities, schools and asked that God would show up ways that could only be explainable by His power.
EASTER AT THE PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE
After a week of prayer, worship, and interceding on behalf of people that might not know Jesus – we got to celebrate the victory that Jesus had over the grave and ultimately over all death and darkness alongside thousands of people in our community.
Through video and dance, we saw a picture of the battle that is raging on around us. Believers, those who have chosen to follow Christ with their whole lives, are stepping out against the brokenness and injustice that our world tells us is normal. A rebellion started with Jesus, 2,000 years ago on the Cross, and although we still live in a world that is full of suffering and pain, we continue to see Heaven crashing in all over the place.
Josh Harrison reminded us that because of Jesus’ resurrection we are able to celebrate without hesitation. We are able have complete confidence that the God who is transforming very world we live in knows us and loves us as individuals. He sent His Son, Jesus, who defeated death and claimed Victory for each and every person who decides to follow Him.
As we came alongside those who said yes to Jesus and were baptized, we rallied around one another as family; we joined in singing, shouting, and celebrating the victory that was claimed for hundreds of people.
This was a day to celebrate Jesus. It was a day to celebrate victory. It was a day that we celebrated the ways that Heaven crashed in 2,000 yeas ago, is still crashing in today, and will crash into our world, lives, and hearts in the days to come.