The joy of Easter morning was palpable as people entered the sanctuary for a service that was appropriately named “Easter Celebration.” The orchestra opened by playing “Easter Overture,” and following prayer, the congregation sang several triumphant hymns, including “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and “Christ Arose.”
For the main portion of the service, Gary Riler directed the choir and orchestra in a music program that incorporated a narration of the Easter account by Tom Pricskett. The first songs were “Resurrection Sequel” and “Hallelujah, Amen.” Brother Tom described how Jesus’ mother and Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb, and then the choir sang “He Is Risen (Mary’s Song),” with Ashley Morgan as the soloist. The songs “He Is Alive” and “He Lives” told how the disciples learned of Christ’s Resurrection. The closing narration spoke of Christ’s promise that all who serve Him will live and reign with Him forever, and the finale song was “All Rise,” with Victoria Heintz as soloist. The song describes the majesty of meeting King Jesus in Heaven, with a declaration: “All rise, to stand before the throne, in the presence of the Holy One.”
For the morning message, Dave Lambert read several verses from 1 Corinthians 15, including these words: “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. . . . But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” He spoke about the evidence of Christ’s Resurrection, and explained that it is the most important event in all of human history because it is mankind’s only hope for eternal life. Brother Dave said the power that raised Christ from the dead can raise a dead soul to newness of life, and he encouraged each one to place his faith in Christ’s Resurrection.