An Easter People

Stain glass dove from Marc Chagall's America Windows stained glass piece.
Photo detail of Marc Chagall’s America Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, illustration by Kat Lehman, 2020.

Moravians are Easter people which means celebrating Holy Week all week with Holy Week readings, a Maundy Thursday Eucharist, Good Friday, Great Sabbath (for some, others it’s optional), and usually at least two and often three services Easter morning.

This year was very different.

We had Holy Week readings, but they were done via Zoom. And, strangely enough, I think we were more connected. We certainly wouldn’t have had Ellen’s daughter who is physically in another state join us as there would have been no way to gather locally with her. We also wouldn’t have had the check-in to find out how everyone’s day went before we started the service of readings.

Maundy Thursday Eucharist was also different. How do you consecrate bread and wine (or grape juice) remotely? Does it count? Would people celebrate with us? All questions we’ve never had to face before. We concluded God was with us however God chose to be with us in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper so our worry was our own and we simply needed to get beyond it as these are extraordinary times.

Good Friday’s somber service took on an even more somber note and I, for one, really felt Christ’s isolation of the cross when thinking about the isolation around us and those cut off from loved ones. Much like, I would guess, Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane and then when facing the crowds, and with Peter’s denial.

And then there was Easter. While we always attend the sunrise service, this Easter, I watched the service much earlier as it had been posted online. Then, as the sun rose, and climbed higher, I tuned into several more Easter services; something I would never have been able to do before.

Easter is a time of hope, a time of gathering, of resurrection and of a promise of life to come. This Easter, amid the chaos, strife, anxiety, pain, and even anger, there was hope. There was Christ, and there was grace, love, and understanding. May you experience that sense of hope in the days and weeks ahead as well.

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