This image of our youngest’s jump into Crater Lake seems like a fitting one for Easter — a day when freedom and joy came to humanity!
Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks all year long. With nightly services from contemplative to interactive, around table fellowship and in silence, culminating with Easter Sunday the week is always full and incredible. I noted how much more energy and joy I had this year, seeking to be clearer with how much I was working and how much I was leaving myself space.
This year at the end of Easter Sunday – I was journaling and began to list out what I wished had happened that day. As I wrote, I asked, “Jesus how would you like me to reflect upon today?”
Immediately the Lord said, “Child. How about we look for what I was doing? This is all about you in your head, but look for me…”
And as I sat in the presence of the One who is real and true, image after image slid through my mind’s eye as I saw Jesus working, walking in our worshiping experiences together.
There he was sitting next to Bonnie at the Sunrise service his arm around her shoulder. Jesus met with five women who happened to miss their separate Sunrise Services but connected at the registers while shopping at Winco, compared stories, so all of them stood in the parking lot and had their own sunrise service. Jesus was there.
Jesus sang through Susan, helping her overcome the two week old lip injury that had kept her silent and voiceless. She testified how she had felt God powerfully as He sang with her.
He acted through Fred, portraying Jesus, so that when Fred donned the robe and wig, he did not look silly, but became Jesus! It was simply remarkable. And he was present with Andy and Marianne, loving them.
Jesus had his arm around Scarlet as she testified to the Risen One in her life experience.
He worshipped with the shofar.
He was sitting next to a young man, arm around his shoulder, tears streaming down Jesus’ cheeks as he hurt for the pain this vet feels and cannot yet release.
As I spoke, Jesus was speaking through me in the message, forming hope in the people.
Jesus whispered into a woman’s ear, “I love you, Daughter.”
He hugged many with the arms of 8 year old Isaac.
He reached out to people with me.
At one point he was on the floor laughing with immense Joy in worship.
On and on the scenes continued, as Jesus showed me just how mighty he was during worship on Sunday. And I realized again that this thing called church is so much more than just whatever any of us seek to prepare, it is the presence of the Living One who meets us and reaches through us.
That experience with Jesus, reminded me at how often I limit my life to what I believe or imagine is happening. It reminded me how much I walk by “sight” not “faith” and can walk away from an experience disappointed because of only believing “what I saw.”
How crucial to instead walk by what Jesus is doing in and through and around and within me. How crucial to remember that it is not “up to me” and “not about me” in many ways, but up to Jesus through me. And he is always at work.
Jesus ended this parade of images with instructions among which he said, “Treat lies like you do the garbage. Take it out to the curb.” Amen.