Easter in Review

***I apologize for the tardiness of this post. I’ve been wrestling with getting Blogger to support my Flash player (which preserves the video quality much better than YouTube). Well, enjoy!

My head is still spinning a bit from Sunday. For those of you who couldn’t be there…Dude, I’m really sorry. I’m going to try and capture it for you here but it’s not even gonna be close.

To those of you who were there, serving: Thank you so much for creating irresistible environments and understanding what that means!

To those of you who were there with friends & family & co-workers: Thank you for investing and inviting and “just asking.” You rock. We hit a new high-water mark on Sunday, and there were a ton of fresh faces and folks we hadn’t seen in a while.

To those of you who were praying: A huge thank you! One man publicly gave his life to Christ on Sunday, and I know many of you were praying specifically for that!

To those of you who have given to create these environments: Wow. We literally could not do this without you. Your investment is already paying eternal dividends!

The whole day was pretty incredible, but I especially want to give you a feel for what the first five minutes of worship were like:

9:28—Doors open, audience is handed bulletins that ask them to enter with a quiet, contemplative spirit
9:30—The room is dark, and slides on the screen remind everyone that the first Easter morning wasn’t “Easter,” it was just another hopeless morning after the death of Jesus. We tried to create a mood of Tenebrae, if you’re familiar with that tradition.
9:32—Amanda opened with “True Love,” by Phil Wickham (arrangement by Darin Peckham). We love this song for so many reasons, and the way it talks about “the story” was a perfect complement to Andy Stanley’s message about the resurrection being the event that made Jesus’ life a story. Phil, thank you for writing this song for the Church. It was an amazing start to our service. You must watch it all the way through to fully appreciate the experience. Then buy the song on iTunes.

Kevin put together a really, really cool video to go with the song. Very simple, but unbelievable in complementing the mood. Then, about three minutes into “True Love,” the song transitions to a bridge, “Jesus is Alive, Jesus is Alive, Jesus is Alive, Jesus is Alive!” Evan brought the lights up large, Shane, Mike, and Darin were pumping, and Abner and Amanda were ripping the vocals. But the coolest part?

THE AUDIENCE STARTED SPONTANEOUSLY CHEERING! Whooping, hollering, whistling! It was the most awesome, authentic, spontaneous reaction…it sounded like a football game! (You can’t hear it on the video, unfortunately, because we had no audience mics in play.)

I was completely unprepared for that. We had worked for months to create that moment, but in all our planning we hadn’t thought about how the audience might so audibly and visibly react. The triumph of victory over death—of salvation—was tangibly present in the room.

Like any grown man would, I just started bawling. Bawling as I sang with Abner and Amanda at the top of my lungs, “Jesus is Alive! He Rose!”

It was worth celebrating 2,000 years ago, worth celebrating on Sunday, and worth celebrating today.

So, go!

Go and tell others!

The tomb is empty!

The prophecies have been fulfilled!