Someone once said, Christianity begins where religion ends, with the resurrection.  I like to put it this way; Roses are reddish, violets are bluish, if it weren’t for Easter we’d all be Jewish.  Not even close to being true… but so much fun to say.  Easter really is the most important date in the Christian calendar.  Jesus put it all on the line with the resurrection. The only sign I give you is the sign of Jonah.  Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. In otherwise Jesus said He was going to validate everything he said by rising from the dead.  If He hadn’t risen the gig was up.  But He is risen, He is risen indeed!

If you are planning a trip to Winnipeg any time soon you should try to come for Easter.  We pull out all the stops and do it a little different than any one else… on the planet.  Good Friday is a traditional service focused around the cross and is always very powerful.  Easter morning on the other hand is a celebration that, well… you have to see it to appreciate it.  It is six months in preparation with elaborate sets, customs, lights and special effects.  We usually take some pop culture reference and use it to present the resurrection story.  Last year we did Robin of the Hood which was the contemporary version of the story set in the inner city to the sound of Michael Jackson music.  The year before it was Pirates of the Galilean where Captain Jack Saviour and his band of pirates squared off against the evil Captain Barbosa (played by yours truly).  The year before that it was the USS Easterprise and I was Capatin James T Kirk.  Here’s the television ad we are running for this year.  It gives you a pretty good idea.

Those who criticize our efforts as being sacrilegious are usually those who have never been here to see them first hand.  Although it is all kinds of fun, it may be the most Christ honoring service we do all year because it always, always points to the amazing work of the cross.  It is not unusual for us to get 1,000 first time visitors.  People who would otherwise never hear the gospel but come because they love the movie or the particular music that we are featuring that year.  When we did the Startrek theme we actually had Trekkies show up in costume for the service.  We had one 15 year old dressed as Captain Picard that sat on the bridge of the Easterprise for an hour after the service.  We had to ask him to go home.  I can’t remember any real Pirates showing up when we did that theme.

This year as shown in the video clip we are doing The Princess Bride.  It is a fabulous story that was made into a movie by Rob Reiner and for some is a bit of a modern classic.  In our family we have watched it again and again.  It is family friendly and very funny.  The script adapted itself beautifully to the Easter story and if there is any way you can get to Winnipeg this coming weekend, you will not be disappointed.  I will follow up the play with the message The Princess Bride of Christ.

The service schedule is as follows:

Good Friday:    April 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Easter:             Saturday April 23, 2011 at 5:25 PM                                                                                      Sunday April 24, 2011 at 9:25 and 11:25 AM

Hope to see you then.  Have a happy Easter.

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15 Responses to THE PRINCESS BRIDE

  1. Bruno says:

    Oh, I remember having the same questions two years in a row and now that you have this blog, I guess you can just tell me “No!” and then make me go cry in a corner. (Why would you do that!)

    On television here we always have “hey last year presentation was all great…. and we’re not showing it to you on TV!” At which we all weep greatly (perhaps.)

    Is there a way for Church of The Rock to upload all of these thematic videos on this website. I’d also ask for this year’s one, but I’ll start by asking every other one, first. Pretty please?

  2. Mark Hughes says:

    Well, Bruno it is not like we are being just plain mean. It has to do with the copyrights, mostly on the music. We pay a licence fee for live use but not for broadcast purposes. I bet if you emailed and asked her real nice, like you did me, she would sell you a a bootleg dvd of any one you wanted.

  3. Bruno says:

    Thank you,

    Yes, I definitely understand playing with licenses and making sure you have all the right ones definitely hit close to home. It makes a whole lot of sense that if you use “He’s a pirate!” that a few complications arise, but the immersion must be really worth it for the audience.

    I’ll definitely check with Donna in the coming weeks. Hm… maybe if I tell her that I have a good relationship with the man whose story is told in those plays, I’ll get a VIP tour.

    I would assume that the broadcasting rights could cost a small fortune, but perhaps I’m not the only one out there that’s interested in those DVDs, perhaps schools and other churches would love to buy them; it’s definitely a good way to make kids who feel reticent about the Bible to be introduced to the matter, maybe with the right research, selling the DVDs would cover the fees. Or did your face immediately change and go “oh, no, no, no, it would definitely not!” Just a thought, that I assume you had years ago, but just in case you’re flooded with 14 other posts following mine that request the same DVD.

    ’till your next blog post.

  4. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Maybe some of those people that think Church of the Rock’s over the top around Easter is because of the traditional sense.

    By claiming our church to be different may divert people to other churches especially for the special holidays.

    Maybe just once a production could be revolved around easter Sunday, elders and special sun hats.

    For instance it could involve children and an Easter egg hunt. The miracle would be to find Jesus once he rose and came back to earth.

    I am no playwright, but I know about the negative feedback about Easter last year.

    I do not want to lose any more friends because of these issues.

  5. Sally says:

    From what I understand of the Easter program, it is an outreach to reach those people who seldom come to church except on holidays; not for those of us who are well versed in the Word. For those who like traditional Easter, I recommend coming out to the Good Friday service at 10:25am. It will be what they are looking for.

  6. Josh says:

    Three days and three nights in the earth…hmmmm you have a tough time fitting Friday afternoon to Sunday morning in there..interesting how the old Roman/Greek fertility cults have been adopted as “christian”, when they are dedicated to pagan gods, goddesses and the fertility rites of spring..Ishtar (easter) too bad this all is not Biblical, but satanic in nature. Christ was crucified on passover, and the Commandment he left was when the disciples were taking the Communion (bread and wine)do this in remembrance of me!So it would be fitting of a Christian to do this simple ceremony on passover as Jesus commanded, instead of follow these pagan rituals from even before Jesus’ birth!

  7. Sally says:

    I think it is fitting that we redeem what was pagan and turn it into glorifying the Lord. I think the Lord will be glorified when souls are saved on Easter sunday.

  8. Josh says:

    It is apparent humans feel they can play God, but when it comes to making days or things Holy, and sanctifying them, only the Creator God can do that, no matter how arrogant we humans feel about it. This worshipping of Ishtar, easter bunnies, et al has pagan origin, and will always be pagan, no matter how self righteous “christians” feel like…it is NOT Biblical, and does therefore does NOT honour God….and is strictly a creation of the antichrists that Apostles Paul and John warned about..

  9. Sally says:

    There will always be a debate over Easter. It all comes down to the matter of the heart and what our motives are. God looks on the heart. I think presenting the Easter message in a way that the non-christian can relate to and souls are saved is a good heart motive. I have no problem inviting a non christian out to hear this Easter message.

  10. Karen L says:

    I think that it is amazing that COTR relates the Easter story with pop culture. 1000 first time visitors! That is wonderful. I know the first time we watched on TV, we thought we were on the wrong channel. Of course we don’t get to see the whole service in just 1/2 hour, but we can appreciate all of the work that goes into making this service one that is God honoring.
    Keep up the good work.
    Happy Easter!

  11. Josh says:

    Who is a Christian? It is one who follows Jesus Christ and does what Jesus preached and did . The Apostles followed Jesus..did they keep the pagan easter? Of course not. They observed the days that Jesus kept and that God had create, blessed and commanded.. So what wannabe christians are saying is Jesus was like, the easter bunny,commemorated in conjunction with the pagan fertility rites of spring, and is placed in the same company as easter bunnies, chicks and easter eggs (all pagan customs)..hmm not a very dignifed manner to treat out saviour, when in fact he was the passover lamb slain on passover to redeem Jesus warned “you follow the traditions of man and not the Commandments of God” and when asked didn’t we cast out demons and heal in your name? and Jesus said “depart from me I never knew you who practise lawlessness” (transgression of God’s law)..the ten Commandments!

  12. Betty says:

    Thanks, Pastor Mark and team.
    That was an awesome Easter service.
    Having to say, good by, this past week, to our friend at his funeral,reminded me again, that we do not know, when Jesus will call us home, no matter what our age is.
    “Are We Ready When The Bridegroom comes?”

    …I saw when they whipped Jesus,[He got the second stoke], then I was right in front of Him, and with His eyes so full of Love, He looked at me and said:”I REALLY DID THIS FOR YOU “… that was part of the vision Jesus gave me not so long ago.

  13. Sally says:

    Thanks Pastor Mark and Team for an excellent Gospel Message presnted this Easter Sunday. My son and his partner came for the very first time. I would say that this is probably the second time my future daughterinlaw ever heard the salvation message. There was no doubting that it was presented in a way that she could clearly understand it. It was another seed sown into her life that will one day bear fruit!

  14. Sherry DeRidder says:

    Wonderful work Pastor Mark. I can truly see how this production and the many others have been planned out long before Easter. It is a very different way to bring the salvation message across, but a very understanding way for those who just do not understand the sacrifice Christ made for us all. Jesus lives! God bless you all and the whole team that help to put this together.

  15. Maxine Keesic says:

    I would just like to say that I was in Winnipeg Easter weekend to attend the Revival at the Convention Centre and because I watch your services online Sunday evening, decided to go to your church. What a wonderful surprise, I thought the production of the Princess Bride was excellent. The singing and acting was just awesome. I can see a lot of hard work went into putting this together…good job to you and your group.

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