A Triumphant Sunday (Literally and Figuratively)


 

Last week was a hectic one for me.

While majority of my friends went out of town for their much-awaited vacation and R&R, I was stuck in the city. (Okay maybe stuck is not the right word, since it connotes not having the choice to leave so let me rephrase).

I stayed in the city (Hello Gen SUN!) to attend and help out with our church’s Easter Cantata rehearsals. It was for Claire Cloninger and Robert Sterling’s “Who Do You Say I Am?”, which was shown last Resurrection Sunday in all of our three services.

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Victory General Santos’ Senior Pastor Nowell Evangelista giving an introduction about the Easter Cantata.

Admittedly, a small part of me wished that I had made plans instead of staying (since I figured I might not have another chance to get away from the hustle and bustle) but after the performances last Sunday, I knew it was worth missing a few days off for sure.

The morning services in Robinsons were packed. And when I say packed, it was STANDING ROOM only for our 10AM services. The 4PM schedule was also full the air conditioning unit can barely keep up with the heat). But more than the attendees, the reaction on their faces got me as I saw many wiping tears away when one of the soloists, Kuya Pops Evidente belted out his haunting rendition of “Father, Forgive Them.”

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Pops Evidente’s soulful singing as the apostle Peter.

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Three days after the performances, I am still singing and spouting lines fromthe songs (talk about major LSS) and I am already wondering how long the high would last.

But even if I forget the lines and the words from the songs, lessons were learned that I will forever take home with me.

TEAMWORK ALWAYS WORK. It is a known fact that projects succeed not only because of a solid plan behind it but the people that made it happen. Of course, the plan in place is very important but without the manpower to run it, even the best ideas will fail.

There is a reason that man has been made for relationships. And the production for this event only showed that we are all created to share not only our lives but the burden and work of what we do.

I am very grateful for the heart and commitment to serve of the Production Team last Sunday. I knew from the onset that the schedule of the rehearsals might cause a conflict but these people took it upon themselves to set aside time to attend the practices and be there on time.

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Technicals and Production Team

I’m sure the whole show would have still run even if the volunteers, instead, chose not to serve. God will see to that. But without them to help out, it might have been a very stressful event for everyone involved.

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Hooray! It is finished!

Special mention also goes to a very talented and creative lady who was not only hardworking but very generous with her skills and time as well.

Sharlaloo (as I fondly call her) donated her time and rest to ensure that the visuals and media for the production were all excellent and ready for Sunday. Never mind that she had other projects that have deadlines looming near. She worked on the videos and boy, did she work fast!

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Tataaa… We’re now off to be part of Taylor Swift’s Production Crew… We wish!

Perhaps, the other thing that I like about teamwork is that not only do you get to maximize one another’s talents for His glory, but that it also provides an opportunity for friendships to grow.

The team last Sunday might have been a one-day thing but I am pretty confident that the memories, challenges and moments we all shared has brought us closer to one another.

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We’ve been wanting to throw our tech scripts since Day 1. LOL.

REMEMBER WHO YOU WORK FOR. The days leading up to the event were more stressful than the others. It required sleepless nights and time spent away with family and friends that the tendency to grumble, feel the pressure and question why you’re doing those things in the first place became commonplace.

I knew I did. For a time, I did ask the question – “How did I get myself involved in this?”

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With Sharla Billena, Head of the Communications Ministry.

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Musical Director Ray Bonilla during rehearsals.

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Crunch time. Cheer up, singers!

But God is a gracious God. At times when I was feeling the pressure and I really thought about quitting (or pretending I was sick, errr), He reminded me that I was not doing it for the church nor was I doing it for the pastors. He showed me that whatever it is that I had set to do is for Him and Him ALONE.

That jolted me and pulled me back to reality. That reminded me that I had been looking inward and downward towards my situation when I should be looking up to Him – the source of Resurrection Sunday.

Which brought me to the last lesson I learned that week –REMEMBER YOUR REASON FOR DOING THINGS. It’s so easy to get caught up in the routine of things and just manage stuff mechanically (only because you have been so used to it). But God is not just about that. He looks at the heart and the motive of our actions.

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There was a time last week that I had to pause and really sit down and ask myself – “Am I doing this to bring honor to God or to glorify my name?” It was a tough question to ask, one that I didn’t want to but somehow my devotion that day led me to it.

How convenient to do things and mask it as a way to “exalt His name” and yet see it oozing with human selfishness and pride. It might not have been the case for me but I sure was pretty close. If I was honest with myself, I know that there were times last week that I subconsciously has been putting myself above things – when I did not seek God’s grace and strength to go through the rehearsals, when I made decisions on my own without consulting others.

Thankfully, He reminded me of who He is and what He has accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago, the same reason we are celebrating Resurrection Sunday every year and why we had the Easter Cantata in the first place.

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Looking back, it might have been the busiest Holy Week for me and true, I might not have had the rest I was looking forward to – but I will never regret the memories we made, friendships forged and opportunities to witness God’s grace and mighty power once again.

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Jesus is alive! He is risen!

 

 

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