This Worship Moment is written by Noreen Holbrough.
Romans12:12 – Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 15:13– May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.
This Worship Moment was inspired by a hymn that was written for Easter this year during the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (used with permission).
This Easter Celebration
AURELIA 188.8.131.52 D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
This Easter celebration is not like ones we’ve known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We’re distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too.
No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.
No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.
O God of love and promise, where’s joy this Easter Day?
With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place
we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.
Our joy won’t come from worship that’s in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see —
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.
In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well:
Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell.
Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day!
Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.
We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be
a scattered, faithful body that’s doing ministry.
In homes and in the places of help and healing, too,
we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.
What does Easter Monday mean to you in normal circumstances? A day to relax after the busy-ness of the services we participated in between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the Easter egg hunt, a big dinner with many family members present? Maybe that is what it normally is but not this year.
In our household, I think it was Whew! We made it – Palm Sunday parade, an intimate Maundy Thursday service, a town wide Good Friday Service with the traditional hot cross buns, Easter sunrise and then the traditional Easter Sunday service. And the hope that each person experienced the variety of emotions required!
What did you miss about Easter Sunday this year? I missed the smell of lilies in the sanctuary, the specially prepared musical numbers, the joyful congregational singing of Jesus Christ is Risen Today and Hosanna, loud Hosanna and the multitudes of people in their spring attire.
So what do we think about on this day- TODAY in 2020?
Do we think about how less hectic the day was and as the queen suggested in her message take time to slow down and meditate? Do we reflect on how the people who found the empty tomb are feeling today? Do we think that even as we are “ a scattered faithful body” as the song says that we are doing ministry!
Some are checking on neighbours, calling people, picking up groceries and delivering. Some leave flowers on a neighbour’s porch. Some are remembering to make their financial donation to Trinity and to food banks. Some are making masks and other medical supplies. Again as the song says, “we live the Easter message by gladly serving you”
A common comment in the Christmas story is how the magi and shepherds returned to their jobs but it was not back to business as usual. The Easter experience of 2020 will also never be back to business as usual but it will be doing God’s work in a new way and may we feel more connected, not less.
Dear God, At this time of rebirth, fill us with hope. Remind us how many times Jesus isolated himself to listen for God’s word and refuel himself. Help us to learn to do the same so we may more fully serve him and be the church in today’s world. Amen
To Listen and Sing
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