[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157629413295224"]
Written by Rosa L.
Last week marked Passion Week, a time in which we mourned over Jesus’ path of suffering and finally His death on the cross. This year for the first time, we had the opportunity to go through the "Passion Experience." Equipped with an MP3 player that guided us through different stations to walk through, we reflected on the people who took Jesus to the cross. With vivid representations that included items like the coins that Judas accepted when he handed Jesus to the Pharisees and the whip that the guards used to punish Him, we reflected upon how we identified with each of these characters, how we betrayed Him, and how our own sins ultimately nailed Him to the cross. These events culminated in the Good Friday service where Pastor Manny asked us to consider whether we have been putting God "in the dock" when we deserve to be on the dock and accused ourselves. We watched a video that our Berkeley church produced that depicted the far-reaching consequences of our sin. And as Jesus said on the cross, we do not know what we are doing. We prayed and received communion, and the night ended with celebration for the several commitments to God that were made.
[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157629413781988"]
Even though Friday was a solemn time, Easter Sunday was the complete opposite. We celebrated Jesus’ resurrection as we welcomed each other and proclaimed that He has risen. Service started with songs of worship and was followed by powerful testimonies from two of the baptism candidates. Afterwards, referring to the book of Revelations, Pastor Manny gave an uplifting message about the description of Heaven in the Bible and how our minds are unable to fathom how great it will be. He also spoke about how we need to prepare ourselves now to become heaven bound people. We need to invest in eternal things like relationships, instead of the things that will not last. After the message, we gathered around the pool at the Doubletree Hotel to witness 11 of our precious brothers and sisters get baptized. Praise God for all that He has done!