Easter at Council Road
by Rick Thompson
At Council Road, we celebrate the seasons of the church year as a part of our life together. The hope of these seasons is to awaken our local church to the grand narrative of the Gospel in the global Church. The Church did not begin in the twenty-first century or in Oklahoma City. The body of Christ is a historically and geographically diverse people composed of varied tongues, tribes, traditions and times. That is what we tap into as we celebrate these traditions.
We see great value in reclaiming these ancient Christian holidays and leading our families to making them “holy days” as they were originally intended. It often feels like our traditions and values are under attack by secular society—even to the extent that Christian seasons are no longer sacred—but rather opportunities for commercialization and materialism. In response, we are aggressively reclaiming that space by emphasizing them in a new and fresh way within our church community. This is why we work so hard to bring meaningful experiences for our church family around these particular seasonal events. At Advent, we focus on his incarnation and second coming; during Lent, we are focused on his sacrificial death on the cross. At Easter, we celebrate his glorious resurrection, and at Pentecost, we are focused on the Holy Spirit and the rise of the church.
Easter weekend is a particularly important time for our church family. It begins with a very solemn and meaningful Good Friday worship service in which we commemorate the Lord’s Supper and remember the meaning of his agony on the cross. On Saturday, we invite the community surrounding our church to a day of family fun and games to draw special attention to the incredible importance of this holiday, and the anticipation of resurrection Sunday. We call it “Family Fun Day” and start off with a fun run that benefits one of our long-time ministry partners, House of Healing. We grill burgers and hot dogs and have children’s activities, including a giant Easter egg hunt, all as a way of saying to the community, “The resurrection is the reason for the joy we have—we are here for you!”
Easter Sunday is perhaps the most important day in all of Christianity, as it is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Our church plans a very big day for families, emphasizing exciting and upbeat music along with baptisms and a proclamation of the Gospel around the events leading to the resurrection of Christ.
Everything that is planned for the weekend is for a meaningful purpose. It begins in the solemn darkness of Good Friday, which gives way to community activities on Saturday and culminates with the huge celebration on Sunday. Our hope is that through these meaningful traditions, our children and families will grasp what is most important about their spiritual lives. That Jesus came to the earth, lived among men and women, and died a sacrificial death on the cross for our sins and was raised again in the glorious resurrection!