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Easter was different this year… for sure

The churches offered services on Facebook or online streaming and those who attended clocked in to let others know they were participating. Once again, modern technology stepped in to attempt to fill the gaps.

At First Presbyterian there was music, thanks to Mike Inlow on piano, Pam Ellis on organ, soloist Leigh Powell and the Easter message delivered by interim minister, Rev. Steven Webb was inspiring. But still, something was missing.

Grace Church worship pastor Mitchell Hines wrote a special hymn in contemporary style and put together a virtual choir for the Easter Celebration. It was interesting to watch and see everyone singing and playing along at the same time and in tune. That had to be a major challenge. I am not sure how it was done.

But again, something was missing.

The family dinners and get-togethers with friends were missing, and deeply felt. Our own Easter meal was minimal and a very different menu compared to other years when we cooked large repasts centered around ham and rich desserts consumed in the company of friends.

My own family, like many of yours, I am sure,  participated in a Zoom meeting Sunday afternoon, uniting the four branches of the family, and I managed to tune in. As they all talked to me and each other at once, it did seem as if we were all together in one home. It was great to see everyone, but still something was missing.

As I attempted to hold a follow-up visit online with my primary care physician on Monday morning, we briefly discussed how different Easter was this year. He hit the nail on the head, saying, it was strange not to be in church where we could see our friends and personally interact with them, wishing them Happy Easter, We didn’t see all the little children attired in their Easter finery and see the excitement on their faces as they anticipated visits from the Easter bunny and looking for hidden eggs.

No, virtual celebration can’t compare to “being there.” And in some ways it only accentuates the absences and isolation we are experiencing,

But, our faith assures we will get through this and this experience will only serve to maximize the joy we find in the presence of each other, especially in the worship of our Lord and God.