It’s Easter morning and I’m alone in the house. Well, the dogs are awake, but lounging around, waiting for the cat to entertain them. Most of the family is in bed still. The kettle is just now boiling, so I can have my cocoa. Umm…
This is a new day for me. I started volunteering at my church in 2005, just after we moved to Ohio. A very good friend was part of the worship band at our church and asked me if I’d be interested in running sound for his band. That was a blast! I love running a sound board, mixing live bands. It’s artistic and technical at the same time, something I am good at and groove on doing.
With one thing and another, in a year or so I ended up being the ‘in-charge’ volunteer. That rolled into a part-time volunteer job where I was there every weekend for eight hours, plus any other events during the week. I trained several sets of volunteers and watched them come and go.
Last summer I looked at a Sunday service, again from behind a mixer, and realized that I was never with my family at church. It had been 5+ years! Wow, was I stupid. The next weekend I sat with my family and let another volunteer make some mistakes, but they learned a lot. The amazing things was, even though I wasn’t volunteering that weekend I couldn’t sit in the congregation and not mentally be behind the mixer. My fellow church members couldn’t separate me from the mixer either. Even when I was not working, people would come up to me and talk about their view of the music and sound. That’s all they knew about me.
So I quit. I quit thinking that the technical performance each Sunday was my responsibility. I quit taking credit for what God did in worship. I falsely believed that it was my job, my calling to make people worship. That if I left it would all collapse.
I haven’t been back in eight months. I did one event for a friend, and that’s it. I’m focusing (pun noted) on photography again and I love it. I have to make sure I don’t fall into the trap of idolizing photography. I can share this with my wife though, and we love that. Linnea’s discovered that she likes taking photos! That’s way cool.
So this is the first Easter since 2000 something that I have not been working at every service. Getting up before dawn and dragging my too-tired-from-spending-all-week-at-church-getting-ready-for-Easter butt in. Easter for technical crews and worship teams is the Super Bowl of church services. New equipment, new stage sets, new music, practice, practice, practice. This is the first one I haven’t thought that I have to carry the load.
That’s what Easter is all about.
See, Easter is the celebration of our failure, our surrender. Jesus’ death and resurrection are all about our inability to make it on our own. If we recognize that our falling short of God’s purity (not just in the sex area, but in all areas of life) has cut us off from relationship with God, then we try to figure out how we can get to God. That is literally like our trying to build a bamboo ladder to the Moon. Ain’t gonna happen. Actually, the ladder is way easier.
Since we can’t reconcile our flawed selves with God, He did it for us. That’s why Christmas isn’t about the end of winter (cause we all know that ain’t true!), but light coming into the darkness. Easter is about death being overcome, about life becoming real! We’re all velveteen rabbits who have to be burned (saddest children’s book EVER!). But after that death, there is LIFE!
So, all things will be new. Life will become real, better than living under this cursed sky and with death programmed in our cells. We who celebrate Easter are celebrating our hope in the ‘ever after’.
Happy Easter to you.