Eggs are for the kiddies!
It’s safe to say my Easter Sunday experience this year was like none before..
Those of you who have heard me share my testimony know that although I was exposed to God’s love and the Christian faith at a young age courtesy of my Aunt Cathy<3, it’s only in recent years since moving to Hong Kong that I’ve come into an actual relationship with the Lord, welcoming Him into my life fully.
As well, it’s only since this newfound chapter that I’ve actually established somewhat of a church life. I’ll admit, there are those Sundays that just slip thru the cracks. Need to check myself on that!
The church family that I can say has really been essential in nourishing my growth during this walk is The Vine in Hong Kong. When I first started attending, service was held on the 2nd floor of a business type building near Central. It was cozy and welcoming. Focusing on English based sermons and worship, it was an ideal environment for me to soak up some awesome fellowship time and to receive The Word.
Since then, The Vine has relocated to Wan Chai into a much larger independent structure. Along with the multiple floors and general increase in size, the mission statement has grown as well.. to really be a church that can serve the Wan Chai community.
Since the last few Sundays, it’s been announced during the weekly news bulletins that there would be a special Easter Sunday service that would be held in both Cantonese and English. Along with that announcement, members of the church were encouraged to invite friends and family (particularly individuals who may not have experienced attending church before) to come celebrate Easter Sunday at The Vine.
24 hours before Easter Sunday, that encouragement struck a nerve in me. However I thought to myself, well aside from “friends and family” who else could I invite?
Which led me to post on my Facebook wall, “If anyone would like to join me for Easter Sunday at church tomorrow, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Then I let God do the work.
I’ll be honest, after I set the ball in motion, there was a moment of clarity that made me really question what my motives were in arranging all of this? Aside from that, other concerns crossed my mind as well. For example, what if someone attends church for the first time and doesn’t have a positive experience? That would be a setback..
Eventually, I did what was the natural thing to do in such a scenario.. I got down on my knees and prayed.. hard.
I really begged God to check my heart in this decision. To make sure it was pure and that my only objective was to encourage and uplift these folks, hopefully for them to have an encounter with the Lord. I declared that if none of this was according to God’s will, that all my plans be cancelled and no one even replies or emails me.
Quite honestly, there was no telling if anyone would even email me..
Of course, God’s orchestration is always perfect and ideal.
I did get some emails. I made some calls. “3 o clock let’s meet at the train station exit and we’ll walk over to the church together.”
Meet the FCC! Facebook Church Crew LOL
It was an amazing service. Powerful, yet simple message. Heart touching worship. The guest speaker, Dr. Hugo Chan, provided just the right amount of entertaining and captivating sharing without compromising the Word that God wanted to share today.
I broke down in tears during the opening worship. There was a realization that all these years I’ve been blatantly disobedient and not living according to the Lord’s instructions. Acknowledging these truths made me feel sorrow and shame that felt like daggers to my heart. The joy that immediately followed was just as intense though. Even in knowing how imperfect I am, not only did He never abandon me but He’s also showered me with blessing upon blessing.
Family. Health. Peace of mind. My wife. Our expected child. Encouragement from brothers and sisters who are experiencing this same love of God. The list goes on.. These are all elements of my life that I cherish so dearly and am so thankful for.
Yet, the ultimate reward is simply being able to say “I love you Father”.
In the end, I was approached by all those who decided to join me today with a sincere “thank you for inviting me”. Praise God.
John 13:35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.