As I write this, we haven’t yet entered into the Lenten season which makes it all the more challenging this year to think about Easter celebrations. How can we possibly think about resurrection concepts and plan celebrations in the midst of so much confusion, suffering and isolation? Yet that is precisely what we are called to do. I’m reminded of that old Crosby, Stills & Nash song line: "...you know the darkest hour is always just before the dawn."
As worship enablers, I’m certain there isn’t one of us who doesn’t come into this season burdened with our own disappointment and weariness as we wonder how we’re going to pull this one off. And we thought Christmas was tough?
In some ways, I suspect that Lent is easier. We’re accustomed to the idea of figuratively or literally 'giving things up' or spending time in personal reflection and quiet contemplation. Masks might be seen as metaphorical liturgical garb in Lent this year. But Easter? Really?
Because I think no one should be writing content like that which is contained in this message without providing some kind of creative alternative, I offer the following idea: What if we were to have a gentle, compassionate, meditative Easter this year? Since we’ll not likely be able to sing together, what if we were to satisfy our longing for song by humming behind our masks? I can imagine a mutually respectful, socially distant hum-sing while reading the inspiring poetry we have been used to voicing through song.
By selecting melodies which are familiar, the humming could easily occur as accompaniment to the message of the poetry. As someone who has long placed value on the importance of the words we sing, this idea is kind of 'out there'. Yet it really is consistent. We would be quietly emphasizing the words which articulate what we believe, mentally 'singing' them in our minds while being surrounded by the swirling, humming presence of our fellow sojourners on the way. It could be a powerful statement to us as individuals and members of our family of faith.
gentle easter. RK