An Easter Morning without a Church
April 12, 2020, 8:00 AM

It has been a hard emotional Holy Week for me, as a pastor. Not in the usual way of overworking and feeling like I am missing out on time with my kids. I have been emotional realizing how much I miss the church. Thursday I had Holy Communion at home with my family and could make sense of it, thinking it was just the disciples and Jesus that night, not a gym full of worshiping people. Friday, I’ll be honest, I was ok not being in worship, it is a hard service and it has been a hard year, so I felt that burden already and wanted to try to skip it. Saturday, I woke up with the traditional songs embedded upon my heart, I think that is the only thing that saved me from total anger and anxiety. I sang all day yesterday. I started out with the Charles Wesley hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today, being the good Methodist that I am, and ended with Up From the Grave He Arose. 

 

Why was I angry? I was worried and fearful. What if we do not worship together again? What if my calling to ministry does not get to continue? Who am I without the church? I realized I was grieving. I was grieving that the body of Christ has been put in a tomb for safety and I was unable to be there with them. We have been separated. 

 

I wonder if the women who went to the tomb that morning were angry on the day before as they thought about gathering the spices and things? I wonder if they had thought of what they would like to say to those Roman Guards that were part of the system that killed their Savior? I wonder if it was a nice sunny morning when they got up or if it was overcast like today in East Tennessee? I wonder if they rose with a heart breaking, gut wrenching feeling of being separated from their church, I mean their people, the disciples and Jesus. I wonder how they felt about their tradition seeking to hurt the Messiah they so desperately waited for? It is a lot to wonder. 

 

What we don’t have to wonder is that they got up, got ready, and they went to the tomb. Mary, Mary Madeline, Joanna, and Salome went carrying the burden of grief they had been sitting with for three days. They went having seen the pain and suffering of the Savior through his trial, beating, and crucifixion. How heavy did they feel that morning, was the weight of the world upon their shoulders as they carried the spices and items to prepare the body of Jesus? What burdens and pain do we come with this Easter Morning? 

 

The amazing part was that they risked being persecuted by going to the tomb.  They risked more pain and memories of the wounds of the Savior they may see while preparing his body. They risked their anxiety and fear. And when they showed up, he was not there. He was not in the tomb. It was empty. The churches are empty this morning. And yet after they encountered the risen Savior, after they walked and talked with him, they went to tell others. 

 

Can we today in a different way, a personal way, a way that may seem like a risk, seek our Savior Jesus Christ in the silence of Easter Morning without the pageantry of the day we have made it? Can we today walk and talk with him to prepare to go and share the good news? 

 

Jesus, it is my prayer that this be a time of preparation as we walk and talk with you today. I pray I may again see you and hear you. I pray I may prepare to go to share the good news. Lord today, let me see you and take my anxiety and fear away.

 

Maybe then we can sing the contemporary song, Worth Is the Lamb, by Micheal W. Smith.

Alleluia Alleluia, For our Lord God Almighty reigns, Alleluia Alleluia, For our Lord God Almighty reigns

Alleluia, Holy Holy, Are You Lord God Almighty, Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb, 

You are Holy, Holy, Are You Lord God Almighty, Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb,

Amen.