BY REV. DAVID MERRITT |
Easter Sunday is one of the many reasons people are drawn to our church as Moravians here in the Southern Province. Thousands of people come from neighboring towns and from far away to hear our bands and to share in our Easter Sunrise Service on God’s Acre. But every church experiences Easter Morning differently.
For some it is a chance to honor loved ones who are part of the Church Triumphant as the band makes its rounds throughout the community. Each stop on the circuit is a time to connect to a family that has lost a loved one since last Easter Day. The band is an agent of healing and support to a grieving family. They embody the message of Easter with each note and melody played in the early hours of Easter morning.
Others make sure that the attendees and the band are fed with good things from their kitchens as members and visitors alike share a breakfast meal. Yes, it is the gathering of the saints who recall the greatness of past Easters, the memories of other saints, and the chill in the air as people make the journey to stand beside the graves of friends and family. Oh, and the sugar cake is handmade!
Some of us, who are leaders, try to make sure we get every line and every phrase in the liturgy correct. It is not for lack of remembering that causes us concern. It is the emotion of the day that makes it so difficult. We were there when the call came from the hospital, the nursing center, or the ER waiting room. We prayed with family, we cried with loved ones, and we walked with them to the room to say their last goodbye.
Yes, even as we proclaim the “Lord is Risen Indeed,” we celebrate and connect to Easter in many different ways. As a band member for almost 50 years, I have never gone away from any service without a deep sense of gratitude for all the efforts of our bands, our members, our choirs, and our people who prepare God’s Acre for the morning service. But in my heart, I feel a deeper love and affection to the One who has made me His own, Jesus the Risen Lord.
Join us this Easter, to remember, to connect, and to honor the lives and witness of those who since last Easter Day have entered the more immediate presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter how you celebrate Easter, let your heart be warmed with the Savior’s Love.
About the author
The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grand-kids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.
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