Easter in the air, on the air, on the ground, at the table

Sunday was a tall day at Laurel Heights. Easter began four stories up on the church’s rooftop with a sunrise service at which we declared the good news before a glimmer of sunrise: Christ is risen!

All day long an online Easter service featured a group from the Laurel Heights chancel choir in full voice singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Muriel Manchester offered a stirring witness of hope, and Geoffrey and Aubrey worked in tandem to bring spectacular visual and musical vibrancy to the Widor Toccata.

At 11 in the morning we gathered on the church’s lawn to sing together in person as a congregation forthe first time in over a year, meaning in a very special way the words we sang: Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!

In the afternoon we shared an Easter feast of Holy Communion, retelling the Emmaus story from Luke 24. The risen Christ, the guest of two oblivious disciples, took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them.In that moment, in that sharing, they recognized him. And on Sunday afternoon, following a tall day of raising our joys and triumphs high, so did we.

Martin Marty once observed that worship can be summed up in a single word: gratitude. Nothing in my recent experience has reminded me so much of the truth of his insight as the observance of Easter 2021 with the people of Laurel Heights United Methodist Church—on the roof, on the lawn, at the table, and online. For such a marvelous day, and the promise of all that is yet to be, I am grateful; we are grateful. Let’s meet again next Sunday!

Grace and peace.