We all know times are weird and difficult right now. But Easter brings with it the promise of hope — the guarantee that resurrection is here. We are intentionally hardwired for good news, and there is no better news than the Gospel.
At Faithwire, we’ve tried to highlight the good happening around the globe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s like a breath of fresh air, but it’s just a foretaste of what we so desperately need.
Easter is coming.
While we won’t be able to gather with one another in person this weekend, we are still free to rejoice in the promise that death — even during this crisis — is defeated.
Because Jesus lived and died a brutal death, paying the consequence for our brokenness and wrongdoing, and rose again three days later, death is no more. Though our bodies pass away, those who trust in Jesus for salvation will live eternally with Creator God.
The siren call of the nonstop stream of news has pulled our focus away from God’s sovereignty — from His pledge to use all things, including the coronavirus, for the good of those who trust in Him. God is still in control, and He’s still on the throne.
With that in mind, here are a few church services you can watch this Sunday:
Hillsong Church in New York City
In the U.S., New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The metropolis has 76,876 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday afternoon. And Carl Lentz, the pastor of Hillsong NYC, was infected with the virus.
Lentz posted on Instagram about the current crisis, saying his city — as well as the world — is facing “a tough chapter right now.”
“In the midst of it we will keep fighting for joy, smiling where we can and encouraging each other throughout!” he wrote. “There is no other option.”
The church will be streaming a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. and an Easter Sunday service at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. on the Hillsong East Coast YouTube channel.
Samaritan’s Purse in New York City
The Rev. Franklin Graham, an evangelist and the leader of the humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, will be leading an Easter service in New York City alongside worship leader Michael W. Smith this Sunday.
Graham announced the service — which will air at 10 a.m. on Fox News — in a Facebook post Tuesday after visiting the field hospital set up in Central Park by Samaritan’s Purse.
As of Monday, the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital had 41 patients with COVID-19, three of whom are in intensive care. Five patients have been discharged.
“Please continue to pray for all of the medical personnel working tirelessly in the face of this pandemic,” Graham said.
Free Chapel in Georgia
Free Chapel has been airing an “at home” series since the beginning of the pandemic, which has seen 95% of Americans under some sort of stay-at-home order.
The Georgia-based church, led by Pastor Jentezen Franklin, is hosting a Good Friday service online at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. And on Sunday, Free Chapel is hosting at Easter service online at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Franklin preached this past weekend on overcoming fear during this crisis.
“If ever there was a time where we needed to be nurturing and the lamb needed to be getting bigger in our homes and in our families, in our marriages — bigger in discussion, bigger in worship, bigger in praise,” he said. “If all your worship is dependent upon church coming back like it was, you’re in trouble.”
Harvest Christian Fellowship in California
Led by Pastor Greg Laurie, Harvest Christian Fellowship will host an Easter service this Sunday online, featuring several “special music guests” — including Matt Redman, Michael Tait, and Phil Wickham.
The Riverside-based church will be hosting a Good Friday service online at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. There will also be a service on Saturday at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.
Then, on Easter Sunday, Laurie’s church is streaming its service with Redman, Tait, and Wickham at 4 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.
(All service times are based on Pacific Standard Time.)
Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would be watching Harvest’s Palm Sunday service. As a result, 1.3 million people tuned into the service and 11,207 people made the decision to start relationships with Jesus.
CBN Service in Jerusalem
CBN is partnering with the Garden Tomb Association to stream an Easter service from Jerusalem on CBN News’ and Faithwire’s Facebook pages at 9 a.m. Sunday.
The service will take place at the Garden Tomb, believed to be the place where Jesus was resurrected three days after His crucifixion.
CBN Jerusalem has been hosting the service with the Garden Tomb Association for several years, where thousands would gather on-site and tens of thousands would watch online. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli government has banned gatherings of more than 10 people.
“As Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you too can celebrate the Messiah’s resurrection from the city where it happened,” read a statement from CBN. “That’s why CBN and the Garden Tomb combined to provide a special Easter service reminding us of the angel’s message that Easter morning two thousand years ago: ‘He is not here. He is risen from the dead!’”