May Harvest Month Launches with the Theme “Release”
Evangel Tabernacle | On 07, May 2019
By: Ann Marie Servito
Evangel’s young playwright Farida Kabayao have always wanted to write a play about male prisoners. But she didn’t know she’d be directing her first inmate story for the May Harvest Month, which now became the first tease of the three incoming presentations with the theme RELEASE.
The play commenced with four inmates in their orange shirt parading in to wait for the chief to announce their sentence. They kick-started the scenes comically when they introduced themselves, shouting off their crimes namely “hate”, “fear”, “lust”, and “greed”. However, the chief later announced that the prisoners have been sentenced to death, but then they were soon released because someone they didn’t know about paid for their offense. Beneath the amusing script that tickles the congregation was the tremendous fact that we are free when Jesus paid for our sins with his own life.
“I thought of something that resonates to the people even if they did not commit a crime, that even when we’re out of jail, there are sins we are guilty of committing” Ms. Farida shared.
“We’re in our personal prison too, which is sin, and only the blood of Christ sets us free from this sin that binds us.”
Hidden in the heart of Your Word
Are promises filled with Your power
Now is the time of unleashing
I say that we release them
Rev. Toh Nee Lim shared a sermon entitled “Steps Toward the Year of Release.” It was revealed that in order for the release to come, the church has to do three things: 1) Ceremonial Purification, 2) Obedience to Mosaic Law, and 3) Willingness to Seek the Lord.
The first Sunday’s key text was found in 2 Chronicles 24:1-4:
Joash Repairs the Temple
24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
4 Sometime later Joash decided to restore the temple of the Lord.
“Ceremonial Purification means repairing our relationship with God. The Lord is more interested in you, He’s more interested in with the ‘temple’,” Rev. Lim stressed during the first point in the sharing of the Word. On the second point he added, “Obedience to the law brings blessings, but disobedience to the law brings judgement.” If there is one person with the greatest desire to bless us, to bless you, that is the Lord! When we seek him and keep His commandments, He will bless us abundantly for His glory.
This month, art installations and exhibits were also placed in various areas of the church compound, something new to complement this year’s celebration of Release. A flying white dove became the performance’s backdrop, with its wings widespread mounting higher in its freedom.
Together with the mural painting, there is an art exhibit placed inside the church featuring various Filipino artists and their works in connection with the year of release. One of the masterpieces is called At Sunrise (1978) which shows fishermen and workers sorting their catch at dawn and it says, “The start of each day is a moment of release, whatever one does. Release from the pressure and pains of previous day; release of hope to tackle the challenge of the present.”
The Youth Central built their art installation which metaphorically conveys “Release from The Flesh”. Towering high are a pair of hands curved upwards to a gesture of ‘setting free’ of sins and addiction commonly attached to the youth. Around the hands are array of objects that symbolizes release from wrong relationships, social media addiction, smoking, gambling, shopping addiction, etc.
On the church entrance is a freedom wall where members can write down and share their answers to the question: What do you want to release for God’s kingdom this year? “I will release [my] love and care to others, especially to the poor,” one member wrote anonymously. Some also shared that they want to release their talents, resources, and vices.
DJCell Leaders also sets up their own fundraising stall entitled “Release from Hunger and Thirst” for quenching thirsts this summer season. With the leader’s corporate effort led by Pas. Carlos Barcelona, they have erected their mini booth, selling various tropical Filipino refreshment flavors like guyabano, mangoes, lemon, and many more.
With the God’s Word and revelation, it became clear that the year of release is already here! We just need to be ready for it by repairing our relationship with God, obeying His Word, and seeking Him. Overall, the festivities going on in the first week of may Harvest Month is just a foretaste of the true release that God is ready to pour out in His church.