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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One Day’s Wages

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To support both the equality of women and the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but I know we're not alone. May we press on. And may we lead with hope.

I'm at the Women's March in Seattle to show my solidarity with my wife, my mothers, my daughters, and the female congregants of my church. I'm also here to model for my son what we believe in our home. Many people have already expressed their disappointment, dismay, and disgust with my decision. Such is life. We will always disappoint someone. And that's also a lot of words that begin with "d." I'm here not because I agree or disagree with every single statement or sign at this march (although I really liked this one) but because as a Christian, I believe in the fundamental truth that women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. They are to be valued, heard, and respected.

And because I believe we can't be a flourishing society without the flourishing of women. And because the Church cannot be the Church without the gifts and voices of women. All the gifts of women.

And in doing so, may we together honor the sanctity of life - from womb to tomb. Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
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noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

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