I’m 56 years old. I’ve probably celebrated Easter in a church for 55 of those years. I figure, somewhere along the line, I had to miss one. For 33 of those 55 Easters, I’ve been leading worship in one form or another. In public, in front of hundreds of people. Not today.
April 12, 2020. Easter at home. Not by choice but by necessity.
I just watched my church’s online worship service. Aside from the strange feeling of watching yourself talk to yourself on a computer screen, I was moved to tears. Each of us who would normally be in front of a gathering, did their part from their home. Through the magic of video, it was edited into a coherent whole. Butterflies flew. Candles were lit. Guitars played. A sermon was preached. Scripture was read. Prayers were said. A virtual choir (little individual pictures of people singing and playing brass instrument) ended to service with that familiar “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”
I can’t believe it, but I finished the service with a lump in my throat. A lump of longing. I long to be back together – singing, worshiping, hugging, praying!
This Easter morning I feel like one of those early disciples. They were apart. They were sequestered in the upper room. They didn’t know if they’d ever celebrate again. Then . . .
A voice. Mary, one of them, breathlessly panting, “Somebody took his body!” Peter, always Peter, must have cursed, “What now? Could this day get any worse?!?” It wasn’t until he and John arrived at the tomb that the evidence convinced them of the opposite – this day could not get any better!
I awoke this morning to storm warnings and messed up Facebook videos (ask me about the valiant attempt at a Sunrise Service and how Facebook creepily knows what is playing and who owns 58 seconds of out of 90 minutes of video). Could this day get any worse?
Then, a voice. Some music. Some butterflies. By the end, I had seen the evidence of resurrection. Through it all, in spite of all difficulty, this day could not get any better!!
Thank you, church!