Here’s our monthly reflection for April – by Roberta Rominger.
Our Puritan forebears were not enthusiastic about celebrating Christian holidays. In one sense, they were right. Every worship service should be about resurrection. Incarnation too. We shouldn’t wander around the Christian story like tourists taking in the sights: rather, faith should be the eyes through which we see the world all the time, every day. It is a lifelong project to deepen our understanding and, day by day, to appropriate what we know.
That appropriation is where I stumble. I am a really practical person. I guess I’m capable of deep thoughts, and I know I’m capable of deep feelings, but both are out of my immediate comfort zone. I’d rather tackle the mess on my desk than ponder momentous spiritual realities. So I need the Christian year with its seasons and milestones to pull me up short and show me the way to that space where I can re-inhabit all the things I know. (Does that make sense? Are you like that too?) Otherwise, it feels like I’ve got lots of layers in me but spend 90% of my time someplace utterly superficial.
Easter is an explosion of joy, amazement, wonder, and hope. It rocks our world to its foundations. It lifts our spirits into the very heart of grace. But who thinks about it? As busy musicians and ministers, we may be so intent on making Easter happen for other people that we forget that we’re supposed to experience it ourselves. Burnout comes in many forms, and one of them is to sit looking at an Easter text or anthem or praise song and feel, “This again…”, wondering how on earth you’re going to make it come alive for anybody else when you’re stuck in the shallows, getting by.
Music is our godsend. The trumpet fanfares, the exultant harmonies and soaring melodies are a direct line connecting us to Easter. Add words of resurrection conviction, and you’re home. Let the shivers run down your spine. Let the tears come. The music and the poetry will do it if you let them, maybe because they originated straight out of someone else’s resurrection joy. Let your whole being experience it.
Every time we cross that bridge from ordinariness into exultation, the connection gets a little stronger and the journey a little easier. One day, just like the Puritans insisted, Easter may become the whole of who we are.