As our church reached the Holy Week destination of Easter morning, I found my mind teeming with details. I hoped I could keep straight, my body stressed, my spirit unsure. I didn't feel tremendously Easter-ish.
Let me back up a little.
In this ministry season as interim music director I have grappled with surprisingly strong fears about my identity and abilities, and have struggled with chronic health problems that often put me out of commission and prevent me from doing much that I would like to. As we moved through Holy Week, I also realized I've never really felt connection with the Resurrection. Whether through pessimistic German ancestry or melancholy temperament, it's Christ's Passion I've identified with.
I can feel that I'm there at Gethsemane; I see Jesus' knees on the hard ground, rocking back and forth in anguish. I see the angry, frenzied crowd, the cruel thorns, the stumbling weight of the Cross, the crying out to the Father, the battered body removed from the wood.
But Easter. I have the expectation that I should feel triumphant and victorious, a "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul" confidence. There at the piano, I did not feel victorious or "chipper." I kept breathing prayers to God, saying his name; I looked out at you all, realizing how much I loved you, and knew I had to trust my Father. Trust him to do whatever he wanted to do through me, trust him to be glorified in his beauty and splendor.
It's my Father who does the work of the Resurrection. He does not require me to work up some suitable emotion or earth-shattering action. He asks me to come. He asks me to take of his body and blood, to follow his voice.
I may not be able to see who that Gardener really is,
I may be saddened and confused on my way to Emmaus,
I may hear from others who've seen Jesus' glorified wounds when I have not,
But God reveals Himself. To you, to me. The truth of the Resurrection stands immovable no matter what I may feel or not feel; God's resurrection power is quietly at work inside us.
See What a Morning,
by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
The voice that spans the years-
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us-
Will sound til he appears,
For he lives, Christ is risen from the dead!
Reflection by Charis Buell
Photos by Piper Melanson and Hester Buell