Good Friday Simpsonwood,
Allow me to share some words that I found fitting on the eve of Holy Week. They come from Pat Tipton and were relayed from a friend to my wife this week. Originally, they were shared when churches were beginning to grieve the prospect of not worshipping in person at Easter.
“The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising. On the very first Easter the disciples were locked in their house. It was dangerous for them to come out. They were afraid. They wanted to believe the good news they heard from the women, that Jesus had risen. But it seemed too good to be true. They were living in a time of such despair and such fear. If they left their homes their lives and the lives of their loved ones might be at risk. Could a miracle really have happened? Could life really had won out over death? Could this time of terror and fear really be coming to an end?
Alone in their homes they dared to believe that hope was possible, that the long night was over and morning had broken, that God’s love was the most powerful of all, even though it didn’t seem quite real yet. Eventually, they were able to leave their homes, when the fear and danger had subsided, they went around celebrating and spreading the good news that Jesus was risen and love was the most powerful force on the earth
This year, we might get to experience a taste of what that first Easter was like, still in our homes daring to believe that hope is on the horizon. Then, after a while, when it is safe for all people, when it is the most loving choice, we will come out, gathering together, singing and shouting the good news that God brings life even out of death, that love always has the final say!
This year we might get the closest taste we have had yet to what that first Easter was like!” (Pat Tipton)
Friends, I have heard from many how they 'hope' we could do something that we can't at Easter, or have 'wished' that the church would be able to meet in some way. I imagine as I reflect on Tipton's words in light of our present realities that this may well be the most memorable Easter we will ever have. Find joy this week of coming as close as we ever will to the first Easter. Know that you are beloved by Jesus and me.
I can't wait for worship Sunday. Remember, the links for worship will come out on Saturday by email. Tell the kids to tune in an we will have a children's message in worship from now on and the opportunity to connect virtually with our Grow Groups beginning at 10:45. See the section in today's CONNECTion email for the link.
Have a great Friday SUMC, see you on Palm Sunday in worship,