The Blessings of Hybrid Worship Continue
While it is still novel for Living Table to gather in this hybrid way, striving for fully interactive virtual worship connected to the in-person gathering in our new sanctuary at New Branches, this week some folks shared how important this access is to them, and it reminded us why we have prioritized fully interactive hybrid worship access. This is important outreach.
Christ is risen! Approximately 55 people gathered in person and virtually for Living Table’s Easter Sunday service this year.
When not helping to decorate the sanctuary, get flowers, help with sound and video, and other things, Kevin also leads the congregation’s music.
Agape is Resurrection and Revolution
Happy Easter! Christ is risen! We can celebrate resurrection and new life until Pentecost (June 5), though we are a resurrection people and the celebration of this never ends. It was truly joyful to gather with so many folx this week with Easter Bonnets to add to the joy. Our series on the “Seven Greek Words for Love” also came to an end with the sermon on agape.
Traditionally, agape is defined as unconditional love or the kind of love God has for us. While this is true, there is more to it. Agape is universal and includes the whole of Creation as mentioned in John’s Gospel. Agape is a love that has no exceptions or limits and includes everything. Only agape can account for the power of resurrection and new life that is central to Christian faith.
No matter what is going on, it is possible to begin again, to be made new. Agape does not deny pain and suffering. To do so in this world would be detrimental to everyone’s mental health. Agape is deeper, stronger, more encompassing than suffering. This is the kind of love that Jesus taught.
Jesus’ life and ministry was all about reaching out to the margins and re-membering and re-centering people whom the world deemed unworthy. Jesus’ crucifixion is a reminder that this kind of love is not usually welcome and presents some risks. People who are in service to the Empire fear the wholeness and unity, healing and forgiveness that agape brings.
However, fear, hatred, violence, and death were not the end of Jesus’ story. Resurrection and new life are where Jesus’ story and our story intersect. We are the Resurrection. We are the new life. We are invited to continue the story of God’s unconditional and universal love for Creation. We are invited to live in agape and share it freely.
Every time we embody agape we are engaging in acts of resistance that can dismantle oppressive social structures. If enough of us choose to live in and act out of agape we can create the revolution Jesus started so long ago. Imagine a world in which a revolution of Love takes hold… This is resurrection. This is Easter. And it is ours for the making.
Here are Some MORE of those Easter Bonnets