Jesus shows up in unexpected places. This is one of the messages of the post resurrection stories in the gospels. He wasn't where they thought he was, i.e. the tomb. He showed up where they didn't expect - a locked room (twice), along a road trip (to Emmaus), at the beach while they were fishing (cause they didn't know what else to do in that post-crucifixion time), etc.
Tim and I are working to plan worship that is both comforting - traditional hymn favorites - and surprising - new places and spaces. You may have heard or seen recently "Jesus has left the building" in response to remote worship services and churches no longer gathering in our buildings. Truth is, we are discovering that he's always been more "out there" than "in here". Jesus is in all the places we don't think to look.
We invite you to imagine and suggest places where we might encounter Jesus. We will work to bring elements of our worship service that include those places.
At the same time, we are wanting to bring some sense of the comfortable and familiar- thus we are asking folks to share their favorite hymns and worship songs. We've done this in the past and thus have a list from which to work, AND we are asking again so this is definitely something you can ask everyone you talk with in the next few weeks: "Hey, what hymns or songs are bringing your comfort and hope during this time? What words float through your mind and what tunes you catch yourself humming or singing?" Then send those responses on to us, please.
And we are wanting to bring the scriptures (and other spiritual wisdom) that may be most familiar and comforting during this time: cf Psalm 23, John 3:16, Psalm 150, Romans 8, etc... Let's gather and share also what scriptures comfort and inspire us in this time.
The Gospel is both familiar and foreign, stabilizing and surprising. We know it, and yet it is always new, if we are really paying attention. Like a true love of friendship in life - we know them so well, and yet we are also always learning and discovering new and delightful things that challenge and inspire us (and perhaps bewilder us!).
My prayer is that we are each open to discovering Jesus in a new way. Resurrection may not mean what we thought. Or put another way, We may learn that Resurrection means far more than we imagined or believed. The people around us are there in part to help us learn things about God we cannot learn without them. Even the ones who don't believe in God in the same way that we do - for they are made in God's image and are God's beloved. "For God so loved the world..."
God be praised by our words and in our living in this most extraordinary time.
Please let me know how I can be serving and supporting you and yours.