23 Mar It’s Been a Long Time Coming!
Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and Spring has officially arrived. I’m guessing I’m not the only one buoyed by signs of new life and better weather, even if the latter remains rather unpredictable and inconsistent. Still, April is coming and with it, Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday. Two years ago, we celebrated Easter from afar—in those early days of Covid-19 I was preaching from my dining room table, and if we somehow miraculously avoided a technology crisis each week, I considered virtual worship a success. Last year, Easter was the second Sunday in which the congregation returned to the sanctuary after a year of worshiping online-only. It wasn’t “normal,” but it was a big step in the right direction to greet the few who gathered that day with “He is risen!” and to hear real-live people(!) respond, “He is risen, indeed!”
This year we are making plans for Resurrection Sunday that are more in keeping with what we know and love. The choir will sing! Handbells will ring! Instruments will resound! We are optimistic for good weather so that we can gather out front after the service to enjoy fellowshipping together over Lemonade on the Lawn while watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs.
Lord, have mercy, but it has seemed a long time coming. As plans and preparations are beginning to coalesce, the joy and anticipation are already palpable, and I can hardly wait! We have a lot to celebrate. Christ is risen. God has faithfully brought us through the darkest days of the pandemic. And we have the privilege of worshiping together. Let us not take it for granted.
Between now and then, of course, Lent continues to invite us to prepare ourselves for the joy of resurrection by journeying with Jesus through his “dark night of the soul.” To that end, the saints at Heritage Presbyterian have invited us to join them to commemorate the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and on Good Friday, we will unite hearts and voices for a Tenebrae Service at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian. These services allow us to connect to Jesus’ suffering more deeply, thereby setting us up to experience greater heights of joy on Easter. I encourage you to avail yourself of the opportunity to prepare for resurrection by entering the pain of the garden and the cross first.
Yours for the Kingdom,