As I was leaving the Sanctuary after our Easter Sunday online Worship celebration, I remembered them. The orange cards.
It seems so long ago, especially under the circumstances of the last several weeks, but on the night before the official start of Lent – “Ash Wednesday” – we held our second annual “Fat Tuesday” celebration. There were masks and beads; pancakes for eating and ones for a “flipping” contest; a picture booth; members, friends and guests laughing, talking and praying.
And orange cards on every table.
For distribution the night of the Fat Tuesday celebration and throughout Lent, our Vitality committee had printed up a full supply of orange-colored cards which listed all of the Sunday and special Worship occasions through Easter Sunday; all of the classes being offered during that timeframe, such as “The Walk” and the Jordan Peterson series; our Wednesday evening Prayer and Meditation sessions; and the special events and social groups scheduled, such as the monthly Book Group and a “Spring by the Sea” Craft Fair.
As I left the Sanctuary Easter morning, I remembered those orange cards were still on the small table in the Narthex you pass as you enter the Sanctuary. So I took them. And since Easter Sunday they have sat on the meeting table in my office, where they will stay for awhile. Maybe even until the start of Lent next year.
They will stay there as a reminder – not of what could have been, but of what was.
A couple of days after Easter, when I read one of them again, it occurred to me. that of all the things listed on those orange cards, there were only two we weren’t able to fulfill in the midst of this pandemic – neither of which was in our control. One was the Early Risers concert scheduled for late March,
which we needed to postpone because of necessary restrictions on public gatherings, and the other was the annual MBTS Easter Sunrise Service at Singing Beach, cancelled for that very same reason.
Everything else on those cards – everything – we fulfilled. We came together to figure out when, where and how. And then we did it. We did it even though it wasn’t how we preferred to do it. We did it even though it was out of our comfort zone. We did it even though it wasn’t without glitches at times.
We did it. Together. For each other’s sake. And for God’s sake.
In that, we carried on the commitment of those who have come before us throughout the life of the Christian spiritual path – those who found a way to express, strengthen, and live out God’s call for our lives individually and as a spiritual community, in a variety of circumstances that were less than ideal.
I am sure it is not the first time this spiritual community has done that. And it will likely not be the last. But as God raised Jesus, God will continue to help us rise to the occasion. Whatever color the cards are.