Apr 182014 5 Responses

We Almost Killed Someone With a Flying Cross on Easter

I sat on the front row in such shock that I just kept repeating the same line: “We almost killed someone with a flying Cross on Easter.”

My co-worker sat beside me trying to remind me of the truth. “But we didn’t,” he said.

I kept repeating: “We almost killed someone with a flying Cross on Easter.” (See: I Almost Died By Rear-ending a Hearse)

My co-worker kept encouraging me that everyone was okay, no one was injured, and the service was deeply meaningful to everyone involved.

But it almost didn’t go that way.

Elaborate Easter services are nothing new. One of my earliest Easter memories took place in a church with an elaborate Easter set. In the 80’s, Easter week often began with a choir special complete with flying angels, a dying Jesus, and culminating with an empty tomb. One Easter our pastor decided to use the pageant set for a dramatic entrance on Sunday morning. As the choir ended their special music, the stone rolled away, and the pastor (clad in an all-white suit) came out of the empty tomb.

The only problem was that he underestimated the depth of the man-made grave, raised up too quickly, and promptly knocked his head against the tomb’s facade. It bloodied his head and nearly caused him to pass out. (See: My Most Embarrassing Preaching Moment)

There is no need for me to feel bad for not being able to remember what he preached that day because neither can he.

So what we do in today’s church is nothing new, but it looks a bit different than what my grandparents experienced—a slam poet, a rapper, and dancers have been a part of the last few Easter services. (See: What Goes On When Every Head Is Bowed)

A few years ago, the plan was to use glow-in-the-dark paint to outline a Cross, write “shame” and “guilt” on its beams, and splash it with blood. At just the right moment in the song, the Cross would be lifted above the crowd to symbolize the removal of our shame and guilt by the sacrifice of Jesus.

Everything went perfectly right until the point the Cross had been lifted as high as it was to go. But instead of stopping, it kept going. The drill used to run the pulley system jammed. The flying Cross kept flying above the limits we desired it to fly. It hit the projector and continued upward. It only stopped as it engaged in an arm wrestling match with the truss which held several hundred pounds of speakers and lights. If the truss won, the Cross would stop. If the Cross won, everyone on the front rows would be killed by a falling sound system.

As the band sang “Be lifted higher,” the Worship Pastor screamed, “Stop.” Lights swayed, speakers shook, and the front rows began to run for cover as though they were living a Ray Stevens song gone wrong.

The “Oh Jesus” people exclaimed as they dove toward the altar were not quite the words of praise the worship team desired.

Thankfully the truss held, the Cross stopped, and no one was killed. (See: Thanksgiving Killed My Dog)

Slowly the congregants in the front rows returned to their seats—some shaken, some shocked, and a few having re-dedicated their lives to Jesus just to be on the safe side.

That Easter did reveal to me a side of God’s grace I had never considered before: it’s possible that when the saints go marching into heaven, some of their last words on earth may not be the holiest of words. (See: Try Not to Curse During the Baby Dedication)

While the Worship Pastor was disappointed, and I was furious by the near-death experience, imagine being the faithful church member on the front row who when he thought his life was in danger yelled, “Oh Sh-t,” on the front row of church on Easter weekend.

“We almost killed someone with a flying Cross on Easter,” I repeated.

“But we didn’t,” my co-worker encouraged, “We did, however, cause Dave to scream ‘oh sh-t’ from the front row.”

Happy Good Friday.

5 Responses to We Almost Killed Someone With a Flying Cross on Easter
  1. Richard Soliday Reply

    I love this story. It reminds me of a Maundy Thursday service in Tulsa. We had experienced some problems with a radio station breaking into our PA system, but it didn’t happen that often.
    Our Pastor had the lights out in the church with one spot focused on the cup. As he spoke about Christ agonizing up the hill with the cross, Mamma Cass Elliott broke the silence with “The Good Times are Coming”.
    Needless to say, we had a new PA system installed before Sunday.

  2. Terri Reply

    I remember Dr. Jim in that white suit!

  3. […] As the couple continued to age, they both experienced medical issues. One Sunday, the wife began to ... https://www.kevinathompson.com/cursed-sermon

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