Sunrise Service Live Event – 4/12 at 6:15 AM

This Sunday Morning we’ll be hosting a Sunrise Service as a live event on Facebook at 6:15 AM. If you’d like to join us – you can download a PDF of the prayers and follow along from home. We’re looking forward to when we can all gather at the beach again – but until that time, we’ll rejoice in what the promise of RESURRECTION means to us all!

Sunrise Service prayers for Mobile device: sunrise service 2020 MOBILE DEVICE

Sunrise Service prayers for print: Easter Sunday handouts 2020

 

The Gospel Ad Infinitum

So – this Sunday we’ll be coming to our last study in the Gospel of Mark – we’ll be reading chapter 16. For the last year in doing this study I’ve done digital paintings to accompany the teachings – and I thought I’d share my process with you for these. This is sped up by 650% – so don’t get any ideas that I can actually paint this fast. It was fun to do – but I don’t think I’ll bite off anything that ambitious again – it really commandeered my time.

Most scholars, including very conservative ones, don’t believe the last 12 verses of ch 16 were part of the original text, but were added sometime after the 3rd Century. With that in mind, we’ll be keeping our focus of this study on the first 8 verses…which makes for a really open-ended finale.

In the text we return to the women we were reading about at the end of chapter 15. They are going to the tomb to finish the job of preparing Jesus’ corpse, something left undone because they ran out of time before the Sabbath. How does the theme of unfinished work get revealed in the first 8 verses?

Why do you think it was important that the angel singled out Peter as one to whom this message was given? What can that tell us about our own times of falling short? What significance can you discern in the fact that Jesus had gone before them and would meet them when they got there?

If you were to narrow the text down to the first 8 verses, what do you feel at the end of v8? Is there anything you feel prompted to do when concluding with v8? Ad infinitum is Latin for “to infinity”, connoting that something is ongoing. Mark probably intended for his readers to be called to an ongoing action in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection.  What is your response to the news that Jesus his risen, and what does it call you to do?

This has been a really enjoyable study to undertake! Hope you got as much out of it as I did, and I certainly hope you return to Mark again and again to read the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God!

Easter Weekend at Eastgate

Tonight is Good Friday and we will be observing it with a service which reflects on Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. It will be a time of singing and contemplation. We will also be doing a live painting, as well as an interactive, visceral worship experience. The cross has been a central part of the Christian faith for 2000 years. Tonight, we’ll take our place alongside the church through the ages and remember that pivotal day…the day the revolution began! We hope you can join us tonight, 6:30 pm in the Big Room at Eastgate.

On Saturday: we are inviting people to join in a voluntary day of fasting and prayer in anticipation of Easter. You can skip a meal, or two or skip the whole day (if your health allows for it). This allows us to step into an experience of loss and discomfort, like the first disciples experienced that terrible Saturday after seeing their Rabbi die along with their hopes and dreams of God’s kingdom. We have prepared written prayers that you can use to guide you in contemplating and communicating with God. This is a time to give thanks and to deeply consider the depths of God’s love for us.

You can find the prayers here: COMMUNITY PRAYERS_

On Sunday: Join us at sunrise at Rick Seltzer Park on Thomas Dr as we welcome the day and begin celebrating the wonder of resurrection! If you haven’t joined in on one of these services, I encourage you to do so, you won’t regret it!

Later, at 10 am in the courtyard of the Eastgate building, we’ll have a day of celebration, where we kick up our heels and shout for joy because Jesus is loose in the world making all things new! Join us for the celebration, then stay for a potluck lunch where we can fellowship and reap the benefits of God’s renewal by hanging out with the family of God! It’s always a good time! Bring a dish to share…and I hope to see you there! (see how I did that? It rhymes!)

See you tonight!

Easter is Here!

They had seen him die.  They had watched in horror as his tortured body gasped and gurgled it’s last breath. They saw his skin change color, his jaw go slack and his eyes set.  Still, lifeless, they knew that the person they had followed and loved was a stranger to them now. No sparkle in the eye, no grin or laughter, no knowing look.  Just a shell; a grizzly mannequin hanging like an effigy of all their hopes and dreams.

When all hope is gone, when dreams and loves have run through your fingers like sand, when you slump to the wall and whisper “it’s broken, it will never be right again”, God has one final word for you.

RESURRECTION!

Look in wonder at wide open horizons of hope that resurrection reveals. God reveals that he’s the God of NEW BEGINNINGS, and no matter what we say is plausible or rational or scientifically viable, God winks and reminds us those are not the adjectives that describe a deeper magic.  Resurrection reminds us that God is God and the possibilities are endless as life passes through his hands.

No one expected this. During those three days not one disciple suggested that maybe Jesus would be back. Why would they? This is unheard of, unthinkable, impossible. Yet there he was. He had passed through the grave and come out the other side in a whole new condition of existence.  Sometimes our hopes and dreams have to have the mark of the cross on them. Sometimes we have weep and bury them, only to discover they were really the seeds of a whole new answer and purpose we hadn’t anticipated. Flowers that are different from the picture on the package, but are far more wonderful than we could have conceived of.

This is the wonder of Easter.

I hope you can come out and celebrate with us at some point this weekend…or for everything we’re doing!  Here’s what we have going on:

FRIDAY @6:30 pm, APRIL 22nd: We’re having a special GOOD FRIDAY BURNING HOUSE service.  We’re going to have elements of the Seder (the Passover meal) for you to sample, and we’re going to talk about the correlation between the Seder and Jesus’ instructions to us concerning the communion.  There’ll be music and praying for each other and hanging out and laughing and maybe crying…all the stuff connected with human beings reaching for the Divine.

EASTER SUNDAY @6 AM: The Dawn Patrol Sunrise Service!  GET UP! GET STOKED! HE’S ALIVE!! Easter morning we are going to meet on the beach for a time of worship, reflection and prayer as we begin the day where we remember that Jesus rose from the dead and changed everything forever.  If that’s not a reason to get up early, I can’t imagine what is. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket. We’ll be meeting at the corner of Oriole and Gulf drive on Panama City Beach (off of Thomas Dr).  Here’s a map

EASTER SUNDAY, 9-11 AM: Come celebrate Easter as we read and explore John 20:10-20, 24-31.  It’s the story of a guy named Tom…someone I consider a soulmate.  We’re going to look at his journey from honest doubt to real faith.  Have you ever struggled with doubts and questions concerning the claims the Bible makes?  We don’t need to be afraid of doubt, and especially don’t feel shame.  Tom is our guide through those times we ALL have.  What do you see in this story?  What does it inspire in you?

Ok…well….long update, but worth it! Hope to see you at some point this weekend!