Sunday, April 16, 2006

Grace Revealed

Friday night at dark we drove down to the lake to Point Pleasant Baptist Church. They have a drive through presentation called Living Pictures of Jesus. We waited on the side of the highway for an hour before we got to turn into the chuch drive. But the wait was worth it. Each scene had elaborate costumes and settings. Each set had a recording with scripture and detail for the scene. It took about 20 minutes to drive through.

The first scene was John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. There were scenes where Jesus calmed the storm on the sea, the Last Supper, the woman at the well, Jesus in the Garden, and on to the Crucifixion and His ascension. The final scene depicted Christ on His throne in heaven seated at the right hand of God. My family and I were truly blessed to have gotten to participate in this beautiful presentation.

Saturday night we attended the Easter services of Tennessee Valley Community Church at the invitation of friends. They have started a series of sermons based on the reality show, Survivor. Their entire stage was decorated like an island--complete with tikki hut, tikki lamps, and waterfall. Their members made a mockup video complete with a scene where they voted off one of the members. The message was entitled, "You've been voted off, now what?" The theme of the sermon was God's free gift of grace.

When we were seated there was a guest card and a plastic fork in each seat. We were left to wonder about the forks until the final moments of the service. Finally, the pastor described the fabulous meals his mom would cook for him growing up. He said that he always knew something good was on the way when his mom would clear the table but tell them to hang on to their forks.
Then he made the analogy to our lives. He said he didn't know what some of us had been facing in the last week, months, or year, but that Jesus's resurrection paved the way for Him to come into our situation and change our lives. Bro. Steve likened the grace of God to the grace that David showed Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson when he brought him into the palace and put him at his table. Even though Saul was David's enemy, and David could have had his whole family killed, he showed mercy. God's grace gives us what we do not deserve. His grace comes into our lives and changes our lives and situation. It doesn't matter if we have been voted out of a marriage, a job, or a popular crowd at school. It doesn't matter if we are rejected on the basis of our looks, our position, our religion, or our color. Jesus extends His grace freely to all who will accept Him.

Because He lives today, we have eternal life and abundant life. Because He lives today, we can "hold onto our forks, because the best is yet to come." Praise God for His great mercy. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. Thank you for grafting me, a Gentile, into your glorious family.

Happy Easter and blessings to you and your family.


aggiejenn said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! What a great Easter service and message. Thanks for sharing it with us! Blessings to you this Easter.

March St. Ives said...

The Living Pictures of Jesus. Now that's something I would like to have seen. What a blessing to those in attendance!

The Tennessee Valley Community Church has imagination. I'll give them that. I like the way the pastor tied an analogy message of a plastic fork into his sermon. That was cute -- but his message (the one you described) of saving the best for last, still made me hungry.

kpjara said...

I am SO holding on to my fork!

Thanks for sharing this.

Morning Glory said...

Tag-----you're it. You'll find the game in my blog for today.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Cindy! Thanks for letting me play! I'm working on it right now--however, I am in Orlando and must get over to my son's apartment to help him get organized...since that was the purpose of my time away from home. :) Need to help him remember that closets are for be hung on hangers....the laundry basket is for worn clothes--not the floor....and need to help him understand that the broom is for sweeping not just holding up a wall in the pantry! :) So much to do--so little time!

But, when I am finished with the above mentioned lessons--I will race back to my hotel room and get busy--after all...I'm it!