The Best Easter Service Ever...

Flipping through the phone book turned up a surprisingly small number of church possibilities for us this Easter Sunday. It was between two of them; Eastpoint United Methodist and First Baptist (or something like that). We decided that the United Methodist church probably had lower standards so we opted for that one. Plus, it worked out perfectly for our brunch reservation afterwards.

3 carloads of us pulled up and giggled simultaneously. I'm fairly certain that all of us were thinking the same kinds of thoughts as we looked upon the one-room, maximum occupancy of 40, middle-of-a-trailer-park, traditional-as-all-get-out, Methodist church building.

A younger man, whom we would learn to be Bill, was running back and fourth frantically pulling out metal folding chairs for some sort of an outside event. He raced over to us to hand us a full-color Easter program for the upcoming could tell they had went all out on these programs. They had colored stamps and Easter-egg prints all over them. Everything was laid out like a southern wedding down to the minute in a play-by-play break down. A sense of excitement flooded us as we walked in and tripled their congregation.

The pastor was energetic and uber friendly. He wasn't the normal he as he was a she and she was there to praise Jesus. Her name was Beth.

As we waited for the service to start I read through the colorful program. My favorite part was the bottom line of the last page. It read: Last Weeks Offering $286.29 - to think that this place is staying afloat on less than $300 per week is a miracle in itself.

The sanctuary filled up with close to 30 people for the Easter was obviously a huge turnout that they weren't used to. The pastor opened up the service by making us, yes our family, all stand up and introduce ourselves. She said that anyone who traveled all the way from Cincinnati OH just to be with them was worth introducing. The twelve of us all shared our names and told them why we were there. It was excellent and for some reason not at all embarrassing.

We then moved into a prayer of praise where everyone in the church stood up, held hands in a circle, and shared something that they were thankful for. So simple and meaningful.

A couple terrible songs later and we found ourselves listening to a message of little substance...that didn't matter though - the substance was in the surroundings. That little place lived and breathed Jesus. After the message we were all escorted outside where Bill, who had himself set up the outdoor sitting area, would be baptized into the family of God. They didn't have a baptismal, but they did have a bird bath and two bottles of Ice Mountain water.

We all stood around Bill as he was sworn in as the 4th official member of Eastpoint United Methodist and we prayed as he was sprinkled with with blessed, bottled, bird bath water. After he was baptized, we all came up to him and laid hands on him to pray a blessing over his life. That was a beautiful site I won't soon forget.

We ended the service by taking communion together as a family in Christ. Homemade bread dipped into fruit juice never tasted so good. All in all this was the best Easter service I've ever been a part of. It was a vision of the Kingdom of God alive in Apalachicola County.

Family is everywhere...even in the places we least expect it.

4 waggish utterances thus far...:

Offensive Coordinator said...

How cool is it that no matter where you go, the people of God are there to welcome you. This sounds very much like Acts 2 if you ask me. Thanks for the reminder of how God reveals himself in so many cool expressions.

DanThoms said...

Full color graphics, nice. The great thing about being a Christian is you never run out of extended family.

Helen Ann said...

That is awesome.

Eric said...

you couldn't find a good catholic church?