Eugene Cho

easter bonanza galore special festivities

The local papers no longer call me the week before Easter.  The last few years, at least one of the local papers called to ask the following question:

“Is your church doing anything special for Easter?”

And each year, I just feel so lame because I don’t really have a good answer.  It’s not that we don’t have any ideas or that we can’t google “what cool churches are doing for Easter”…

It’s just that that’s not who we are.  This is in no way to criticize churches that choose to do creative or cool things.  But I guess this is my way of forewarning visitors who are thinking of visiting Quest this Sunday to not expect anything special:

  • There will be no free gifts.
  • There will not be an egg hunt or a big egg drop from a helicopter.
  • There will not be any big theatrical production with dry ice.

The reporter asks again,

“So, seriously, you guys don’t do anything special for Easter.”

I’m not trying to be a smart ass but I respond,

“No, we’re pretty lazy and our resources are limited.  But, seriously, the message of Easter is special enough.  We want to welcome our guests by simply being ourselves.  We don’t have any stuff or gifts to give but what we can “give” to people is to genuinely extend hospitality and an accurate glimpse of our community and ethos.  We do our usual thing:  we sings beautiful worship songs, we greet, I preach for a long long time, and we welcome anyone that believes to celebrate Communion.

Actually, we might have some decent donuts and coffee – which is special since we don’t usually give donuts. And oh, there is another special thing…I usually wear a suit for Easter!”

I think this is why the local papers no longer call us to ask about what we’re doing special for Easter.  They don’t call because well, umm, there’s nothing to write about.

Whether you are a pastor, a lay leader, or simply, a believer – may we all enjoy the various festivities of Easter and Resurrection Sunday.  But let’s not forget that the message of the gospel – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – even without all the accessories – is pretty darn special. 

Filed under: religion, , , ,

8 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    What!?!

    There’s no big helipcopter egg drop at your church? Lame…

  2. Kacy says:

    We have always celebrated Easter in our own home – this way we can make sure that what is provided in the way of festivities and activities is that of our own choice and not ones made by others. Happy Easter

  3. rk says:

    pastor eugene, i think you’re one of the coolest pastor i’ve known (besides those in my church of course) hah.
    your “realness’ makes chirstianity very real. thanks! 🙂

  4. johnnie says:

    Great sermon today. Thank you very much for the refreshing perspective.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Eugene,

    I am so glad that Quest doenst do anything cheesy for Easter. All the silly hyped-up stuff takes away from Easter for me.

    But, Easter can also be a huge disconnect for me when it’s bascially just a normal Sunday. Part of me knows this is the most important day in the Christian year, and wants to celebrate in a way that marks the day. But when things around me are just normal (even if normal is really good….good worship, good sermon, good communion, etc) I feel disconnected from it. Maybe it’s just me, but a big part of me wants it to be a big deal – not with some cheesy egg hunt, but with worship and art that matches the weight of the import of that day.

    I go to Chicago any Easter I can (like this year) to the 4-hour Easter Vigil because the beuaty and intensity and joy of the music and artistic expression. Somehow I need help for the day to be marked in a special way – because the reality of that day has to get me through a whole year of struggle.

    I’m not saying that is better or worse than what Quest does. We are who we are, and I love who we are. I’m just trying to say that I need help for the joy and beauty of Easter to be real to me that goes beyond a normal Sunday. Maybe that’s my own immaturity, but that’s where I am.

  6. […] Next year, maybe it’ll be time for the big helicopter egg drop! […]

  7. […] PE come dressed up in suit the one time a year he does.  😉  but like he mentions in his more recent blog entry, whether there is a egg hunt, special musical production w/ live animals… it’s […]

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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