Easter brunch was thoroughly enjoyed. Church leaders everywhere are recovering from the marathon of Holy Week events. Parishioners have taken lilies from their sanctuary chancels to their home mantles. And now it’s Easter Monday.
There are many who attended worship on Easter Sunday for cultural reasons:
- It’s what we do with friends.
- It’s the institutional requirement before brunch with the family.
- We go for the extraordinary music and especially fine-tuned preaching and liturgy.
And there are many who attended Easter Sunday worship gatherings for spiritual reasons. Some of us are part of the church year-round. But why? It’s not because we love committee meetings or political church fights.
I was touched by Rachel Held Evans’ post about why she has returned to church after being away for a while. And I myself ponder why I am still part of the institutional church. One reason is because I’ve seen glimpses of resurrection in my church communities:
- The woman who found help for her addiction in a church basement and when she made the transition to “come upstairs” for a traditional worship service, people welcomed her and sipped coffee with her on Sunday mornings, even though she wasn’t dressed like everyone else.
- The widow who lost her husband and her son in the same year, who was regularly invited to dinner by church friends – especially holiday dinners – after her losses. She went from a woman who could barely get dressed in the morning to a woman who laughed at Circle meetings with her friends.
- The twenty-something person with no family in town who moved from a studio apartment to a group house to a condo in the course of a year, and found church friends who happily helped her pack her stuff and haul them from one home to the next, and then took her out for pizza.
This is why I am still part of the church on Easter Monday.