Easter Sunday Service from a rooftop in the year 2020. What could be better! Participants all “Social Distanced” six feet apart – musicians, pastor, also one of the musicians, liturgical leader, also one of the musicians, and God! I guess God comes first, but He was all around. The backdrop was the city of Vancouver, Washington, with the Columbia River, bridges to Portland, Oregon, a few cars here and there, breezes caressing God’s messengers, and a bright sun offering wondrous lighting for the gathering. Worshipers were anonymous, sheltered in their homes as they had been instructed to do for their own protection from the Corona19 virus and the protection of their fellow human beings. No masks or gloves needed, just the freedom to welcome God and his son, Jesus into our hearts and lives.
Songs, prayers, and a message against a backdrop of such serenity and beauty were footsteps along a golden path coming, unimpeded from above along a wide open path straight into my heart. My heart was open and ready. My heart had been open for a long time but on that Easter, my heart stayed open and eager to let in the breath, the power and the Love of Jesus, our – precious Savior and Redeemer waiting for me to Surrender completely, with deep humility and shed the armor of doubt I have held for so many years as a protection against I know not what – fear of the unknown, fear of revealing my own sins. Perhaps it was the gentle warm words from the pastor, soothing voices of those sharing their music, the soundless wind, the reassuring light and the wide open, endless sky waiting for me to take that path that had been prepared for me.
I would say it was the rooftop. I would say it was the open sky. I would say it was the words of God’s messengers whether spoken or sung. It was all of them, but much more than that, it was my readiness and willingness. Finally, the Apostle’s Creed – each word and phrase was said by family members scattered throughout the Vancouver community providing a sense of unity of the family of God. Thank you, God, and thanks to many others in my life for being patient and loving with me even while I was doubting, even while I was a sinner, even while I was self-centered and thoughtless of others. I feel eager now to take the path with Jesus beside me.
Matthew 2:16-17 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”