Let us hope we never have another Easter like the one we just had, with church services canceled due to a pandemic.
Listening to the hymn, “Christ the Lord is risen today” in a variety of offerings online, including one from our own choir, is hardly the same as singing the words ourselves, joined by the voices of our Congregation and choir, in our sanctuary.
Logging into worship services streamed live on our computers or hearing our liturgy and sermon delivered by me on and provided for you to look and listen to on our website is, again, a poor substitute for actually being there; looking into your neighbor’s and pastor’s eyes, hearing their voices and feeling their emotions and physical presence.
I never thought I would see our basic freedoms of assembly and worshiping together curtailed out of necessity to keep us all safe and to prevent the pandemic from spreading.
At its heart, Christianity is a community religion and not a private one. While worship can happen alone between the worshiper and God, at its best it occurs when “two or more are gathered together”, sharing their faith and praising God.
Yesterday we were denied all these things and instead had to make due.
Jerry worked hard getting things Jackie our Music Director/Organist and I put together for you. We even had what turned out to be a small “coffee hour” on Zoom at 11 am for all who chose to join.
This was the first year in almost 40 years that I have not been in church and or leading its worship on Easter. I hope it will be the last time, at least for not being in church, as long as I am able to attend.
I thought about all you yesterday, all you give to me in worship. I wondered how you were spending your Easter and I hoped that you might have logged into our website and been comforted by something I said. I so missed seeing your faces and the attention, joy and affirmation you give to me.
Some say we never will be able to shake hands again, something that has always meant a great deal to me during the passing of the peace, and when I greet you after church. Maybe we will have to wear plastic gloves to church in the future, or figure out some other way to convey our brotherly and sisterly Christian love to each other.
The highlight of my Easter came from calls with family, friends and some of you, as well as the food some of brought by and a face-masked walk at a distance we were able to make.
But making and eating Easter dinner alone was something I hope neither I, nor anyone else, has to endure again.
Friends, in spite of all the hardships the Coronavirus imposed upon us this Easter, the story of God’s raising Jesus from the dead gives us all hope for resurrection in this life, and in the eternal life yet to come.
For that we sing, Hallelujah, even if it’s only from the seclusion of our own homes!
Thank you for this message, Wendell – we really are all in this together and we’re all experiencing many of the same things. I appreciate all the hard work everyone is putting in to keep us informed, inspired and in touch.
Take care, everyone!