As we approach a second Easter that will be different from the ones that we had become accustomed to here at Gainesville Church. Last year we were totally virtual. We used music that was pre-recorded and a sermon that was pre-recorded.

Again we will have a Good Friday service that is on-line but this year you will be able to attend in person, but there will be no singing. This will be our traditional Tenebrae Service, a service of gathering darkness as we remember those people who were around Jesus over the last few hours of His life.

This year Easter will be much better. We will have two outdoor services (weather permitting) one that is contemporary at 9:30 and a traditional service at 11. We will maintain social distancing and will be wearing masks, but we can sing!!!!!

We will continue with our on-line offerings with the contemporary service at 9:30 and the traditional at 11. And as always you will be able to access both of them at other times.

What I am learning as we are making our way through our second year of the pandemic is that we have a choice. We can either lament what we have lost or we can move forward in our mission, our core mission. That mission hasn’t changed, it’s the same mission that the church has had for the last 2000 years; to reach one more.

It’s our choice, we can sit on our hands and bemoan the fact that Easter doesn’t look like it used to, or we can move forward remembering our calling isn’t to make Easter look like it did three years ago or even twenty three years ago, my first Easter with the Gainesville congregation. What the worship services look like isn’t nearly as important as the message that they contain.

Easter has always been about Jesus crucified, dead, buried, and risen again. Whether we proclaim that with three packed services in our sanctuary, with choirs and trumpets or we do so around our computer, TV, tablet, or phone or we do so in person. The message remains the same and it is a great message and it hasn’t been diminished by Covid-19.

It’s a message of hope. Not just a hope that this pandemic will end, but a greater hope. It’s the sure and certain hope that our brokenness can be healed. That this world isn’t our final home. And that no matter the confusion and conflict of this world our God has new life waiting for all who put their trust in the risen Jesus.

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