Did you wake up in a funk on Easter Sunday?
I’m tired of the grief and sadness and worry and uncertainty that a global pandemic has brought. I’m tired of watching the case numbers and death toll rise. I’m tired of seeing the empty New York streets and weary, war-torn medical professionals. I’m tired of missing my family and friends. I’m tired of ending each night in tears, thinking of those who are lying in hospital beds without their loved ones….and those whose loved ones never came home to their own beds.
I can’t pretend that Easter in Quarantine is a fun, meme-worthy event. Sunday morning, I simply felt like a day that should look bright and hopeful was covered in a thick, heavy cloud.
Interestingly, God caught my attention through something very simple… an egg hunt.
My wonderful in-laws were kind enough to hide a few dozen eggs outdoors for the kids to run around and find. I helped to hide a few, then watched as they came out to start looking. My kids are pretty big…7, 9, and 12, but they still had an absolute blast. While watching them run and squeal, I came to a conclusion: There’s something about finding things that have been hidden specifically for the purpose of being found that is thrilling. The eggs were completely empty. They boys simply enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. We hid the eggs twice for them to find, then they hid the eggs for us adults. I think they may have had even more fun watching us find the eggs they hid than they did hunting! They enjoyed giving us hints along the way and cheered every time we spotted one.
While we hunted, I was reminded of a word of encouragement I received through Max Lucado’s Bible study entitled, Unshakable Hope. In one chapter, Max quotes this verse:
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” - Psalm 30:5
Max encourages the reader to go hunting for joy…to look expectantly for it…even in the midst of difficulty and sorrow.
I had read this a few weeks ago and had been so encouraged by the idea of hunting of joy. What happened?
I forgot I was on the hunt. I sat down in the darkness and gave up looking. All the while, God had hidden “eggs” of joy all around me:
- Two substitute teachers whose income suddenly evaporated were sustained until they could get government help by the wonderful people at MCC.
- A gospel conversation concerning God’s approval and acceptance was had because of a single mom’s tough situation and MCC’s willingness to give
- Several MCC families pulled together to help provide clothing, food, and personal items for a family in crisis through a connection with Barrett House.
- Anyone connected to an MCC member on Facebook is seeing daily encouragement from scripture through MCC’s Daily Devotionals.
This list could certainly go on. None of these things would be happening if a global pandemic was not happening.
I won’t ignore the grief, fear, and loss this crisis is creating. However, there is ample evidence that God has a good plan and good purposes to provide for people, draw them to Himself, and show Himself present.
There is joy to be found. Let’s go out and hunt it down.
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!