Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
I almost didn’t take my camera to church with me Sunday morning. Then I remembered how unique and special worship is – always. And of course it was Palm Sunday. It’s the beginning of Holy Week, so anything I can do to help facilitate a deeper sense of spiritual connection is an important investment of creativity.
WFPC has invested in some cool technical equipment, which is exciting. There’s a new camera, direct microphones, and some new software to make it all work. So I grabbed some photos to show the technical end of things too.
Then, up at the front of the church, I’m still impressed with the great on-camera chemistry between Rebekah, John, and Katherine.
I really pray that all this preparation, and coordination, and creativity, and passion for the good news, communicates in a way that is inspiring and encouraging to hundreds if not thousands of people. That the message, the good news, the invitation, finds its way into the hearts of so many people that we see not only lives but communities transformed for Jesus.
Come out of the grave, people!!!
Rebekah launched Holy Week with the story of Lazarus, the story where Jesus makes this incredible statement: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
In her message Rebekah said, “The church hasn’t always done a good job communicating the new life Jesus offers to us…” She went on to point out that, too often, “We are not living as people who understand the significance of resurrection…”
Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. He calls us out too, inviting each one of us to come out of whatever self-imposed tomb we find ourselves in, to live into all the promise and the hope that is the Resurrection Life!
Listen to the message yourself (“Wake ’em up now!”), Rebekah even finishes with a few verses of “rap”!
We concluded worship with communion – the Body of Christ in unity – each family preparing their own elements in their own homes, hundreds of people behind hundreds of phones/iPads/computers/smart projectors/television screens serving one another wine, grape-juice, water, milk, tea, coffee (and more) along with bread, crackers, cake, rolls, wafers, chocolate chip cookies (and more).
And we waved palm branches, and dogwood branches, and azalea blooms, and so many other improvised things. The photographs and videos – hundreds of them from across this community – warm our hearts, lift our spirits, and make us cry for the want of you all…
It’s Holy Week, friends, let us make our way toward the cross – DEREK
(These photos, from the dogwood outside the front of the church to the benediction at the end, help me to tell the story…)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.