Grace and peace to you on this Good Friday. I pray that it is well with your soul.
A pastor tells the story of a church that came together on Easter Sunday only to find their sanctuary vandalized, with the word, “NOWHERE” spray-painted across the altar. Of course, it somewhat dimmed the service. As the hour of worship wore on, the pastor was delivering her sermon when one little boy who had been struggling to understand the meaning of that strange word, piped up. Pulling on his father’s sleeve, he said loudly, “I know what those words say! His parents tried to quiet him, but he was too excited. “I know what they say! ‘God is now HERE!’”
The pastor goes on to write, “We assume that we know what life is about. It is deadly in its sameness; the day-to-day dreariness, the constant battles, can be soul-deadening. Even Christians get caught up in ‘life-as-usual,’ so attentive to the petty details of getting though our days that we forget ’God is now HERE!’ We forget that every moment is tied to eternity, every event filled with hope, every decision filled with new possibilities by the One who opened even the gates of death.”
On Transfiguration Sunday, at the end of our Mardi Gras celebration, I was moved when those of us present stood in a circle and sang the Three-fold Amen together. Each of us held a slip of paper with the word “Alleluia” on it. Then as Hermes Morell, Keeper of the Alleluia, moved around the circle holding an open cedar box, each person dropped his/her slip of paper into the box and stopped singing. The Alleluia was thus put away until Easter. We would not say it or sing it in worship during Lent.
On Easter morning the Alleluia will be restored to our worship as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph over Jesus’ conquering of death. Hermes will carry in the Alleluia banner, and we will all sing the “Three-fold Alleluia” together.
I invite you all to be present, in-person in the Sanctuary, if at all possible. You will continue to have the Facebook option, but as Rev. Bob Snyder reminded us last Sunday, it is more important than ever that the Body of Christ be physically present in worship together. Come together to join in singing the “Alleluia” and to thrill at the good news that God is indeed with us. I also invite you to strive to be an Alleluia—joyful and full of hope, praising God with your life.
God Bless You!
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's bulletin!