Christ Community Church (Omaha, Nebraska) is known for its raucous celebration of the empty tomb.
This year, each person arriving for the church’s Easter services found a plain white flag lying on his or her seat. In the middle of the stage lay a bare, wooden cross in which hundreds of holes had been drilled.
“I gave a Resurrection message from John 20, weaving in the theme of surrender,” said Lead Pastor Mark Ashton. “Toward the end of the message during each of the seven services, I encouraged the congregation to reflect on what they needed to surrender to God.”
Pastor Mark then asked the congregants to write down on the white flags what they had been convicted to surrender. He suggested things like health, finances, marriages, and addictions as well as relational concerns such as the need to forgive or seek reconciliation.
“I invited those surrendering their lives to Christ for the first time to write their names on their flags,” he added.
After praying for the congregation, Pastor Mark invited those who had made first-time decisions for Christ to come forward and plant their flags in the cross lying in the middle of the stage.
“Wow. Lots of people came forward—kids, adults, seniors, you name it!” he exclaimed.
At the conclusion of each service the congregation sang the hymn “White Flag.” When they reached the chorus—“We lift the cross, lift it high”—the cross was raised, and lit up with stage lights.
At the conclusion of the services, 689 flags had been placed in the cross. “What a thrill; this is what the Resurrection of Jesus is all about—He is still changing lives!” Pastor Mark observed.
Please pray for the hundreds who made first-time commitments to Christ to grow strong in their newfound faith. Intercede also for the believers who surrendered aspects of their lives to follow through with their commitments.