Dear church family,
This is a most unusual time in the history of the church in America. This is an event—the inability of churches to meet for corporate worship due to the Chinese Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020—that has rarely occurred in the past one hundred years. Perhaps, the last similar event, the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, is our closest parallel. This event has caused many churches to seek alternative avenues of worship, member connection, and community ministry. The “stay-at-home” orders that we have been living under have presented us with an opportunity to emphasize and practice household worship. What is household worship? It is a devotional or spiritually formative practice that includes, reading the Scriptures, singing and praying. It might include preaching or some form of word of exhortation. And it normally would not include, with a few possible exceptions, the administration of baptism or the Lord’s Supper.
This Sunday, we are going to set aside a few moments of our normal (that sounds weird) Zoom meeting (10:30 AM) to help our households with a short time of household worship. What is that going to look like? You will need a Bible and your electronic device. Here is our short itinerary:
- Each household will read aloud Luke 24:1-12.
- Each household will have a short time of prayer. (ACTS=adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication or petition)
- We will close with Laverne leading us in two songs. (Charles will mute all of us except for Laverne due to the nature of Zoom’s software.)
- Charles will close our meeting out with announcements and prayer.
Please read and meditate on Luke 24:1-12 in advance. This is a traditional Easter text which brings me to my next point, Happy Easter! Christ is risen! In this wonderful text, the women are taking spices to the tomb and they encounter two angels:
5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
These angels ask the women the most startling, most historically significant question ever uttered, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” It is a question that both presents the angels an opportunity to proclaim the resurrection but it also offers the women a chance to reflect personally on that event. It is the question that God wants the women to contemplate and, in whose answer, find joy. How do we know this? The angels never fail to do the will of their creator. They never improvise their obedience but rather accomplish the will of God to the uttermost. God did not send them to the tomb to be creative in their conference with the women, but rather to ask them that very question!
Finally, read the whole passage and consider the responses of those who hear this good news. What are those responses? How do the responses of the women differ from those of the eleven and all the rest? What does Peter do in light of this new information? Does Peter go alone? (Read John 20:1-10) May the Lord bless you these next few days as you focus on the suffering of the cross and the joy of the resurrection.
Love in Christ,