by Laura Forman
We all know the signs of Easter: candy-filled egg hunts, pictures with the Easter bunny, baskets, a special family dinner. Preparation includes not only the physical, planning all of the above, but also mental and spiritual readiness for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
As Christians, we are witness to a journey of the greatest magnitude, God’s love letter to us, through his only Son. The story of the greatest struggle and triumph the world has ever known is about to be retold.
Take yourself back 2,000 years. What if you were part of the crowd watching Jesus with his crown of thorns, carrying his cross, stumbling through the streets of Jerusalem? What emotions would you have when this innocent man, whom you believed equally God, was nailed to the cross and ridiculed? What would your reaction be to his empty stone tomb three days after you saw Him die?
This Holy Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter, defines Christianity. Through Jesus, the veil between the spiritual and material worlds was torn, making it possible to bring God’s love to Earth.
“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.” – N. T. Wright
Jesus’ life and fate were predicted in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New. Light came into a broken world and showed us what is Holy. We are called to now be His light. Let this season transform you in a new way through an experience of Jesus’ death and resurrection story.
In the words of Eugene H. Peterson, “It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”
This year, go beyond reading or hearing the Easter story by entering into it.
Journey to the Cross will be held at Immanuel Church April 15-19. By literally stepping into the pages of the story, this self-lead exhibit consists of 12 interactive stations that chronicle the Resurrection Story, God’s story.
Designed for all ages, whether or not you attend Immanuel (or any church), it is promised to create a sense of wonder. There are activities geared toward adults and children at each station. Allow approximately one hour for viewing and contemplation.
For leader Marion Medina and approximately twenty volunteers, Journey has been “a growing labor of love” in its fourth year, which continues to improve. She describes it as a “moving, quiet and profound experience.”
A progression toward redemption and personal surrender is this year’s focus. Near the end, you are invited to continue your own journey. At the very least, Marion suggests, the experience will evoke questions. And at the most? Who knows?
You’re officially invited.
Location: Immanuel Church. April 15-19.
Tuesday – Thursday 10 am – 3 pm and 6:30 – 8:30 pm,
Friday 10 am – 6:30 pm,
Saturday 10 am – 3 pm.
Please note: volunteers are still needed; if you are willing to help set up on Sunday April 13 or tear down on Saturday April 19, please contact Marion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Forman is a follower of Christ and Immanuel Church member. She is married to David and they live in Gurnee with their five children. Working as both a personal trainer and a freelance writer, she can be found at church or www.lauralisaforman.com.