The After-glow of Easter
Grace and peace to you beloved in Christ,
Here we are, in the glow of the Risen Lord, Jesus the Christ!
I am of two minds today: one, I grieve we could not gather in church, sing the songs, hear the scripture and pray the prayers of our faith on Easter morning. In fact, I miss the entire liturgical practice of Holy Week and while I read, prayed, wrote, and talked with many of you, to include virtual bible studies, it was different enough that I felt the loss of what did not happen.
On the other hand, we are learning to worship in new and different ways (virtually with YouTube, Zoom, and Facebook); the reading, writing, and offering is different enough that I honor the quest of learning new ways to share the good news of the gospel. And this delight is shared by working alongside various of you in those new and exciting ways of mission and ministry! Plus, Easter morning we praised God with music, story, song, scripture and message (and Easter lilies)! See the video, in case you missed it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpQxFKIUhK8
I wonder if it is the same in all our households, we grieve what we miss and yet we delight in new ideas and practices? A faithful life holds in tension these differences and journeys on. We honor the past, but move into the present each day seeking God’s light and truth! COVID-19 has changed many things, this is true; but the truth of our faith is unchanged and Easter is that central point: the Risen One could not be held in death because love has no end. The Messiah left the tomb empty, appeared to the disciples, ate, walked, healed, and talked with them that they should be the witnesses to the world of God’s precious love. And in this world, they, and we, find revealed God’s purpose to be engaged in because he said over and over: “have no fear, I am with you.” And this promise is true to this day, Amen!
However, as we written in the New York Times: “the cancellations (of everything including worship services) have meant a life rhythm disrupted. And for the broader country, canceled services were another symbol of a lost chance to be still, to breathe and to gather together in one of the oldest ways humans know, just when such things were needed most.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/us/churchescoronavirusservices.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
We need our faith “always and the most”, no matter the circumstances. In times of wondering and trauma, illness and disease, war and conflict; we always need our faith the most. And we will still have birthday parties (even if on ZOOM for now), and evening meals, the comfort of friends and the beauty of spring, prayers before bed and upon awakening. We will make face masks, do home chores (even at church), fix the broken stuff, and plan for a future of life gathered together, again.
We are still the church and our faith is unwavering. As soon as things open up, from what medical and scientific communities advise, from what our local officials and the Governor recommends, we too, shall open the door of the church for public worship. Until then, please call one another, use your small group leaders and the devotions they are sharing with you in faith. Join the worship experiences on Facebook and Youtube, call me, and stay gathered in the community as a body of Christ who has learned the value of virtual worship and bible study! Praise be to God in all things,
Your humble servant,
Rev. Robin Blair
P.S. Many thanks to the chefs and delivery persons in our “soup for all ministry”! This connection of food and devotion that is delivered to your door could not have happened if it were not for the folks taking the time to run around with these deliveries. We gather (with our gloves and facemasks on), put the soup, dessert, and devotion in the bags, we pray, and out the door we go! We hope this bit of connection and love is a remembering of your congregational gathering in spirit if not in presence. It is my hope that we continue this ministry through May. Then as the weather warms or the doors of church re-open, we can re-evaluate! God bless!