Pastor John

Pastor John

Easter 2021 – April 4

Can you believe that Easter is just three weeks away? Even more astonishing is that this will be the first time we will actually gather for Easter worship services in two years! Do you remember what you did last Easter? Do you want to remember what you did last Easter?

Let me tell you how I spent last Easter. I got up and went over to our Apopka campus worship center—our empty Apopka campus worship center. It was a truly depressing sight, but I wanted to check in on and thank our “stream team”—the people who faithfully show up to ensure that the online worship services stream without a hitch. After I left the building, I went to Cracker Barrel to get a nice meal for our family from a restaurant for the first time since the pandemic started. As I was driving back home from Cracker Barrel, I noticed my car kind of jerked and sputtered. When I got to the traffic light on 436 and Wekiva Springs Road, the engine died–and there was no Easter resurrection forthcoming. (I later learned that the water pump went out, and, as a built-in measure to keep the car from overheating and damaging the engine permanently, the engine shuts down.)

I called Pastor Jeremy Tomlinson and Pastor Harvey Carpenter, who both live nearby, to come help me. Caleb Conley from our Apopka campus also showed up to help. But before any of them showed up, a guy I’d never met before came along and offered to help me push my car in the CVS parking lot.

So, on Easter Sunday morning 2020, instead of preaching the good news of Jesus in person to thousands of people at multiple services, as I had done for years, I was pushing my 2008 Toyota Avalon backwards on 436 into a pharmacy parking lot and waiting on a tow truck. If that isn’t an appropriate picture of what all of 2020 felt like—going backwards and waiting to be rescued—I don’t know what is!

This year, instead of going backwards and waiting to be rescued, we’re going forward and proclaiming in person AND online the rescue that Jesus provides us from sin, Satan, and the grave! I’m really excited—and grateful—for the opportunity we have to host 8 onsite worship gatherings between our Apopka and Lake Country locations and 5 online worship services. (Click here for service times and invite resources.)

We will also offer a special 7:15am Outdoor Sunrise Service at our Apopka campus only for those who would feel more comfortable worshipping outside or who want to get an early start on Easter Brunch. If you’re planning on attending that service, remember to bring a lawn chair for you and a friend.

At all of our indoor services there will be multiple large rooms available for people to spread out safely and worship and Journey Kids will be offered at all indoor services.

Obviously hosting that many services with care and excellence in that short amount of time means we need many people to step up to serve. Could that be you? Can you help in one of our Journey Kids environments? Or how about helping out in our parking ministry? Or how about greeting people on the way into the building or the worship center?

All of these opportunities to serve and more are available for you to make a huge difference on a day when we expect many people to return to an indoor gathering for the first time in over a year. What a great way to express hope and new beginnings! Hope has a name indeed and His name is Jesus and I have a feeling that this Easter we’re going to sing a little louder and raise a hallelujah in His name! If you would like to serve, you can let us know right now by going to journeychristian.com/Easter.

Loving the Easter Journey

Pastor John