There was no other way to describe this Easter Sunday.
The little church, packed to the brim,
was alive with energy,
from the trumpets’ first notes, exuberant and pulsating.

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy with the organ and trumpets,
heralded the opening words from scripture,
the shocking discovery of the empty tomb
caught up in the music, as the choir,
behind a floral cross, proceeded down the aisle.

The words of the first hymn “Christ the Lord
Has Risen Today”
ricocheted off the walls and into the congregation’s
expectant, supercharged hearts,
everyone caught up in the promise of the moment,

the gathered stirred up and pushed along
by Mary Magdalene’s starring role in the Easter story,
witnessing the victory first hand
as the congregation sang with thundering conviction
that there’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
there’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope…

Again the organ and trumpets interceded
balancing out the choir’s softer touch in the Althouse
anthem He Is Alive and later in the closing hymn,
unknowingly celebrating a second Easter story,

the story of three men manning wheel chairs.
Right there in the church, under the empty cross,
the three men are breaking up the dark,

shaking it loose with love’s light,
expressing with their own lives what is being sung
about and spoken to,
two of them rising up to care for their wives,
an heroic partnership with endless hours, new
demands and new ways to love.

A third, a young father, in a corner of the church
in an heroic partnership of his own,
rises up to care for his 4 year old daughter.
With no way to swallow or digest food,
he feeds her directly through a feeding tube,
ounce by dripping ounce.

On the floor above the exuberant flock,
including his own wife and his other children,
sing out the morning’s last hymn:
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing. His cross stands
empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring. His love
in death shall never die.


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