Pastor Bob’s February Message
Dear people of God:
I just finished writing the piece about Lent and Easter for our February newsletter The Voice; it got me thinking about certainty and uncertainty. As long as the earth is still turning on April 17, sunrise in Omaha will be at 6:42 CDT and so our sunrise service will be at 6:30 am. That’s fairly certain. But what will we do for Maundy Thursday? Will we be able to have supper together, as we have sometimes done? Or will we have a simple service with the bread and “wine” of the Lord’s Supper but no other food?
We don’t know yet. Before long the Worship Committee will start planning, but always aware that whatever we plan is subject to change. That is always true, but it is clear this year. In 2001, when I was serving in Cincinnati, we had a wonderful Holy Week experience planned, including Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday noon and evening, Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, and Easter morning. Then the riots erupted after the killing of Timothy Thomas and the Mayor imposed a sunset-to-sunrise curfew. Suddenly all our evening services were canceled and we had to reshape the remaining services to manage. We did very well.
Someone recently said that the idol of our era is “certainty:” we want to know what is going to happen and be prepared for it. When has life ever been certain? The people of Tonga no doubt thought they knew what they would be doing the week following January 15 and then the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted and suddenly everything was uncertain. We have seen over the last two years that resilience – the ability to recover quickly in changing circumstances – is celebrated as a great virtue, whereas before March 2019 we hardly ever used the word.
We live in the confidence that Christ is raised from the dead and is Lord; that our life is in his care; that we are part of the great work that God is doing in the world. Will we get to celebrate that truth with an Easter brunch this year? Lord, I hope so. Of that we cannot be certain. If the earth is still turning and we’re still alive on it, we can be certain we will celebrate that event on April 17. “I know that my Redeemer lives.”