The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the human family in strange ways. I believe it to be true that we all live for relationship and connection. Yet, ironically, in calling on our better natures to protect the vulnerable among us, for many the pandemic has resulted in us separating from those we love.
For practical purposes some of the most meaningful social gatherings of our lives are essentially, for now, illegal. Weddings, funerals, travel, and all of the other things we do in community – in schools and restaurants and arenas – are, for now, considered to be dangerous.
For those of us who follow Jesus, we are approaching what is ordinarily our most important communal celebration of the year – the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. I don’t think I’m the only one who has been wrestling with how to observe the holiday this year. But I can’t not celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!
For the past 10 years during the Holy Week season I’ve put on an event called the Journey of Worship at my church. It was designed to be a self-guided, interactive, contemplative event. As such, I thought my little church would be able to offer this event to the community this year and still remain compliant with the current social distancing restrictions. But when the stay-at-home-order came out, we didn’t see a way to put on the event while remaining in compliance.
So instead, we have decided to create a video version.
It’s not the same as being there, but if you are looking for a way to deepen your connection with God this year, and to observe the Easter/Passover season, I hope you will set aside some time, put the video on full screen, pull out your Bible, and prayerfully still your heart in the presence of God.
Though full of art and music, this is not an entertainment video. Rather, it’s a study and a call to worship. It’s nearly 30 minutes long and is truly intended to be a journey of reflection. The video version takes you through seven narrated stations with ample scriptural references for those who may want to hit pause, read, and reflect.
The Journey of Worship will take you through the climactic events in the life of Jesus, and briefly explore how the Torah of Moses foreshadowed each profound act. Because gentile Christianity has historically cut itself off from its Jewish roots, it is perhaps not widely known that each salvific act of Jesus occurred on a different Jewish feast. Among the many things this signifies is that our Creator has been purposefully carrying out a plan that spans thousands of years.
It is a good and loving plan, and He intends to bring it to completion!
It would be presumptuous to believe that God has welcomed us into loving relationship with Himself had He not told us so. It would be arrogant to say that we can now understand mysteries that were hidden from those who lived under the Mosaic covenant. It would be presumptuous to think that we get to experience a spiritual birth, and life, and access to God that the ancients could only dream about. But since Jesus has told us these things are true, it would be faithless not to believe them.
During this strange year that is so full of disappointment and even sadness for so many, I hope you will find hope in connection with the Author of Life this season and throughout the rest of the year.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. — Jesus
Here is the link to the Journey of Worship video version: