The week before Easter, I asked a question about “Communion Alternatives” that created quite the conversation. If you contributed to it, thanks. If you missed it, head on over.
The bottom line is I was looking for a way to celebrate Communion while also claiming the Resurrection. It seems like we sometimes forget about how Christ is risen as we’re talking about His sacrifice on the Cross. Likewise, we can’t forget the crucifixion as we live on the other side of the grace and salvation that have been provided for us.
We can’t have the Resurrection without the Cross.
We can’t have the Cross without the Resurrection.
To practically celebrate this on Easter, this is how we facilitated it at Connection Church from start to finish:
- We showed a video that prompted an awareness of what happened between Jesus and Barabbas,
- Our band sang/led two songs – one that spoke about Jesus’ meta-story, and another that spoke about how He is alive in us.
- The congregation greeted each other with handshakes, fist bumps and high-fives – tangible touch matters.
- There was another summary via video of what we’d just processed – this helped glue it all together, as well as give those who came in late a sense of pieces they may have missed.
- I preached a short message – only 15 minutes long. It’s tempting to do more on a day like Easter, but this seemed more appropriate.
- We led into a response time, during which we gave everyone ten minutes to move around or simply stay seated. During this time, we played the original audio of “Christ Is Risen” (Matt Maher) and “I Am” (David Crowder) with lyrics on the screen. Beyond staying in their chair, they had three tangible places in the room they could go:
- A gal in our church created a 6×6 canvass print of Jesus carrying the cross. It was beautiful “as is.” And then… we intentionally “ruined it” by signing our names to the cross – as a way to personalize him carrying it for us.
- We allowed people to do something familiar by going over to a Communion table. Here they could take it via a typical plastic cup/wafer.
- We placed broken chain links on the communion table. These symbolized the Resurrection… and were a tangible reminder of its implications on our lives.
- We ended service (right after all of this) with Amazing Grace / My Chains Are Gone. Just before that, I “yelled” a bit – words of truth and encouragement under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.., unplanned… yet captured (and turned into a personalized video from our sound guy).
So that’s a glimpse of our Easter service. Any thoughts?