Easter is upon us! What a great opportunity to grow in our own personal faith and to share the hope we have with those around us.

Throughout the New Testament, God continuously speaks of the cross and the resurrection is the key point of the ministry of Jesus. It is the means God provided for the salvation of His people. On the cross Jesus died to pay for sin. In the resurrection, Jesus overcame death and proved His divine authority. For those of us who believe, the death, burial, and resurrection is the hope of our salvation.

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus provide a challenging historical reality for unbelievers to consider. This reality has led many to be open to the Christian faith. On Monday, March 21, we are hosting an event for those who struggle with the claims of Christianity. The event, titled The Areopagus, will feature a noted scholar who will explain some fundamental faith claims of Christianity and then answer questions from the audience. It is a great way to start a conversation with someone you know who has good questions. This event is specifically targeting young adults, but it is something we want the church to be aware of and praying for.

On Thursday, March 24, we will have our first Easter service at 7p in the Worship Center. This service will be exactly like the Sunday morning services, except we will receive the Lord’s Supper that night. This is a perfect service for those of you who will be gone on Sunday morning or who have guests who cannot come on Sunday, but can come on Thursday evening.  It is also for anyone who wants to remember the night Jesus instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper and remember the body and blood of our Lord.

On Sunday morning, March 27, we will offer five services. Three of them will be in the Worship Center. It will be a grand celebration with a large crowd praising God and celebrating the miracle of the resurrection. The 9:30 service is typically the most heavily attended. In preparation for increased attendance, we are also providing the service via video in the Fellowship Hall. If you are running late, can’t find a seat, or just want to provide a seat for our guests, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the celebration in the Fellowship Hall with other Hopers and guests.

Two additional services will be held in the Chapel. These services will be identical to each other and will provide a more intimate experience with a simpler expression of worship. The Chapel services will celebrate the resurrection and feature the same sermon as the Worship Center, but it offers a smaller worship setting.

We are praying that all of these services will be full of both Hopers and those who are not Christians. Join me in praying for those who don’t know Christ, and pray that we Hopers will be faithful in leading others to anchor their life and hope in Jesus. Please invite friends and family to attend with you and share with them why Easter is so important to you and your church family. Let them know we would be honored to have them come and celebrate what God has done.

One of the fun things we are going to do this year is provide the opportunity for everyone to get an Easter picture. Every year, people gather around the stage, in the lobby, or outside in a sunny spot to get a picture with family and friends to remember the occasion. This year we are going to have attendants located throughout the church to take your picture with your phone. Our hope is that everyone will be able to share their pictures over social media and say to their friends & followers that Jesus is alive and they were blessed to celebrate His victory over death.