According to the calendar, yup — but in practically every other way, NOPE.
We are called to live our lives as Easter lives, as Easter people. We can bring the resurrection of Jesus Christ into our daily activities, family and business relationships – but we can also celebrate the resurrection by becoming more like disciples, by sending ourselves into the world in ministry in Christ’s name.
During the fifty days of Eastertide (which extends into Pentecost on May 23 this year), we can take our place as ministers in the church, and we can acknowledge that we each have been given gifts for ministry. Vinita Hampton Wright, a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, wrote, “So what does it mean to live as Easter people? It means we live as a people, all parts of Christ’s body working together toward a single purpose: love.”
I feel that ministries in the church are like the parts of the church’s body working together toward perhaps more than a single purpose: to console and uplift the downtrodden, to gather in fellowship, to build community and inter-denominational relationships, to learn our church history and learn from it, to study the Word of God, and on and on.
Maybe you were able to attend a few services at Mountain View during Holy Week. There was Maundy Thursday communion with “foot washing”, a Good Friday meditation, Stations of the Cross where we traveled around the church, an emotionally moving Holy Saturday Vigil, and of course, festive Resurrection services on Sunday morning! During the week you were witness to a journey that began with tension, filled with foreboding as we recalled the events that we knew were to take place over the next three days, and culminated with resounding bells from children and hand bell ringers, a poignant and powerful message from Stephanie, exuberant choral anthem by the choir, an important message to our perfectly rambunctious children, and great hymns and songs with important messages. We celebrated!
It is with a great sense of gratitude to everyone in the music ministry of Mountain View who spent so much time preparing to lead us in worship. Beautiful and heart-felt music, to be sure! And to the folks who decorated our spaces and put everything in its proper place for each service, particularly Connie Balazs and Margaret Reagor, thank you! I’m proud of the work everyone did in the service of the church. And I’m proud to serve with the rest of the staff here at Mountain View.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at the “I am” statements of Jesus (remember? The Bread of Life; the Light of the World; the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth, and the Life; the Vine …). It is a wonderful series that will highlight some wonderful music by different ensembles and soloists. I hope you will find it as meaningful as I anticipate it will be.
What a wonderful thing it would be to have you join an ensemble for the few weeks remaining until we take our typical summer break. I invite YOU to join us for choir practice on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. And the hand bell choir rehearsals are on either Saturday at 9:00 am or Sunday at 11:00 am (depending on the week, get in touch with me so I can tell you when we will meet!). Then we’ll kick off the music program once again on August 29. Our focus then will be to continue building our ensembles in numbers and in strength. And I would also like to see Mountain View offer opportunities for children and youth vocal groups, theatrical ministries, liturgical dance, organ and other music concert series – there are so many ways to offer our gifts.
Serving in ministry is a calling and an opportunity. Serving the church offers yet another way to live our lives as Easter lives. To celebrate the Resurrection through our ministry, our music, our gifts. All of the body parts working together.
Blessings to you during this Eastertide.