By Reba Phelps
During this unprecedented time, of shelter in place, there has been many new buzz words that fill our news feeds and news channels. Fluid situation, social distancing, essential worker, quarantine and flatten the curve, just to name a few. We have heard the same news stories over and over again. We have all chuckled at the same stale memes on Facebook and Twitter just trying to find some humor in an otherwise grave situation.
All of our sports have been cancelled. Local and professional. Much loved spring socials and fundraisers have been cancelled. Stores are closing. Employees are working at home. In person meetings have been moved to Zoom or FaceTime. More than ten cannot gather in the same area. Masks and gloves should be considered in public. We must stay six feet apart from each other. The way we mourn at funerals or celebrate a new baby’s birth has been temporarily changed to stop the spread of a virus.
Live audience church services are cancelled and moved to online platforms. More times than not, only the preacher and a music leader are present. We are no longer worshipping in a brick and mortar building. At least we aren’t this Easter.
Easter is one of the holiest religious holidays and is the complete foundation that supports Christianity as a whole.
Every Easter prior to this one I mindlessly and routinely attended worship service in a brick and mortar building (or a frame building if I was visiting my dad’s church) and never gave much thought to the actual bones of the building. This building actually houses the worshipers, the Sunday School rooms, the choir rooms and church offices. Some have fellowship halls for everyone to gather and eat.
I think we can all agree that our brick and mortar church buildings are pretty important to us churchgoers.
Easter 2020 will look quite different in our house. We will not be donning new dresses or accessories. My daughters and I will not have fresh manicures or new shoes. We have even chosen not even to have our traditional Easter baskets. Well, my daughters may not be aware of this fact just yet, but they will be informed prior to the release of this article.
Those temporary things just seem extremely insignificant as we are in the midst of a world wide pandemic.
We will be probably have on our best mismatch pajamas, possibly a neater messy bun, absolutely no makeup and a warm cup of coffee huddled around a computer screen. We will choose to be grateful that we have a home to gather in. We will choose to be grateful that we have internet service to watch live church being streamed and feel blessed that we have a preacher who loves his congregation so fiercely.
We will also choose to be thankful for our health while so many others have fallen sick.
For the first time in my life I have purchased oyster crackers for something other than soup. I am actually preparing to have communion at home with my two daughters. Aside from the fact of not feeling worthy enough to administer this, who would have even thought that this would be a reality of many Christian families this Easter?
We, as children of God, are built to survive and to be solely dependent on our Savior and not to be dependent on the traditions in which we tend to find so much comfort. Those traditions, as we are seeing, can quickly fade away.
There is a reason we were all benched this Easter. This Easter has been stripped of all of its fanfare, commercialism, and traditions. It is being brought back to its roots which just consisted of family worshiping and celebrating a risen savior.
We may never know the real reason in this lifetime but what we do know is that we don’t need brick and mortar to celebrate Easter this year. They didn’t need brick and mortar to celebrate the very first Easter….… It was rolled away.
“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” – Luke 24:2-3