Words of Humility for Easter
When our church’s elder board met with our pastor to discuss the onset of Facebook Live-only sermons Mar. 22, he quickly brought up one advantage to our coronavirus-interrupted lives.
“I’m loving reconnecting with my family,” our pastor said. “We’re all spending a lot more time together, now that we’re not all so busy.”
I know the feeling. Recently, I remarked to my wife that it was a good thing we liked each other, or stay-at-home life would be pretty miserable.
With our state joining a number of others in shutting down non-essential businesses in recent weeks, it’s hard to imagine Easter in an online environment.
Yet, this year it will be a reality.
A New Easter Assembly
If anything, the sudden transformation of “church” to online broadcasts and high-tech group meetings has given new meaning to the admonition from Hebrews 10:25 to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.”
Prior to the pandemic, attendance this year at our church had increased about 30 percent (exact figures are tough to give because of week-to-week fluctuations).
The last time we gathered at the old elementary school that houses our church, the turnout sank back to last fall’s level.
However, that day and during the week, nearly six times as many people watched our pastor’s sermon on Facebook Live or via the church’s website.
With most churches adapting to the necessity of the online environment, Christians’ influence may increase.
Instead of restricted primarily to those coming to the church house on Sunday, the Word will go out across the world.
So, while none of us is too keen on having our daily routines interrupted, the economy tanking, and traditional Easter services gone for this year, I can still see God at work behind the scenes.
Resolving to Pray
The last week of March, our governor called a statewide prayer meeting—again, enabled by Facebook—to ask God to provide answers during this overwhelming situation.
Suddenly, prayer was back in vogue. Not a particular faith, denomination, or cause, just a humbling of ourselves to seek God’s help.
While strident atheists like to pretend there is no foundation for such activity, one can look to a past national proclamation appointing a national day of prayer and fasting.
Introduced by Iowa Sen. James Harlan, it was passed by the Senate on Mar. 2, 1863 and signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Mar. 30, a month before the fast day’s observance.
It’s worth repeating part of the resolution here:
“We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
It would do us well to humble ourselves this Sunday, confess our sins, and ask God for His forgiveness. Happy Easter.