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Three Life-Changing Easter Sundays




I was almost five years old when my Mom accepted Jesus as her Savior. Just a few weeks later, it was Easter, and she was so excited. She could not wait to go to church and celebrate her first Resurrection Sunday as a new believer. She woke up way earlier than we needed to leave, and as she waited, she kept singing the old hymn:


I live, I live because He is risen. I live I live with power over sin.

I live, I live, because He is risen,

I live, I live to worship Him!

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!

Because You're alive, because You're alive,

Because You're alive, I live.


It was an Easter I'll never forget.




 

I was fifteen years old when we first walked into Christ Community Church. It was Easter Sunday, and I had a fancy new dress. The year before, my Mom decided that she could no longer attend the unhealthy church where I'd grown up. After years of scandal, in-fighting, and splits, we had to find a new church.


Honestly, that choice saved my walk with Jesus. Because even though I loved Jesus and had a close, personal relationship with Him, the years of heartache, the open hypocrisy of leadership in. the church, and watching God's people abuse each other had left me very skeptical and jaded toward church life. I'd seen and heard too much of the ugly side of the Church and experienced far too much church hurt for my age.


Thankfully, that was all about to change as we left to find another church. The funny thing is that we were never really serious about attending Christ Community. It was over an hour away from our house. But since it was Easter Sunday, we decided to make the drive for the occasion.


For me, it was love at first sight. It was like someone had opened a window, letting in the fresh air, and said, "This is how Christianity and Church life were meant to be." Over the next decade that we attended that church, we did not experience a perfect church or perfect leadership--but it was healthy. The leaders genuinely loved God and the people and wanted to serve both. They were sincere. They taught Biblical truth in a way everyone could understand, and they practiced what they preached. This church and its leaders have become a model for me throughout my life. They were the tools God used to help me love His church again.


It all started one Easter Sunday---an Easter I'll never forget.




 

Fast-forward twenty years, and it was Easter Sunday again when Jamie and I slipped into the back pew at Harrisburg First Assembly of God. Our Mom had just gone to Heaven a few weeks before, and we were absolutely broken. We weren't dressed in fancy clothes--we didn't have any at the time.


Somehow, we messed up the timing and got there super early. As we sat in the back pew, hoping to be unnoticed, an older woman played the piano and sang old hymns. We sat there and cried as the peace in that place accompanied by the words of her songs. During worship, I found solace in the fact that Mom was worshipping Jesus in Heaven just like we were worshipping here on earth. As the pastor spoke, his words healed our hearts.


Again, it was an Easter I'll never forget.




 

This week, I've shared my stories of three different Easters, different places, different ages, and different stages of life. Yet, they were all life-changing.


As far as I can remember, none of them had over-the-top performances, a special speaker, or even a community event. What made these services special was the Holy Spirit's power in each place, changing our lives.


As we're heading into Easter 2024, I just wanted to remind you that we don't know who will walk into our Easter services this year. It could be someone needing salvation or a new believer who can't wait to celebrate.


It could be someone who loves the church or one who has been victimized by church hurt and looking for hope.


Some will have received bad news the week before.


Others may be grieving.


And yet, the same Jesus who died on the cross and rose again over 2000 years ago can still meet them right where they are and do a miraculously life-changing work.


He's still able to save. He still heals. He still delivers. The power of the Holy Spirit is still working in the lives of men and women and through churches that allow Him to guide their services.


Because we don't know who's coming to church this Sunday, but we know what they need. It's not a fancy service with perfect music, lighting, and elocution. They don't need a show.


No, they need to feel the power of the Holy Spirit and the sincere love and kindness of men and women who are truly living for God.


Who knows what will happen this Easter?


Not me, but it makes me excited to go to church!











 Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.


When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."

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