Katie walked through the sanctuary and found an empty seat. She slipped off her coat and draped it over her chair. She sat down and glanced around the busy sanctuary. This is my sixteenth Easter Sunday I’ve attended. Probably won’t be any different from last year. Katie glanced down at the bulletin and noticed the schedule of events. Easter production of “The Cross of Calvary.” How original! Goodness, couldn’t someone be a little more creative and portray that story differently….Yep, I was right! This is the exact schedule of events as last year. I bet they even recycled the bulletin
“Can I sit here?” Katie looked up into the crystal blue eyes of Mary Ann Winther, an elder’s wife at their church, “Brookeside Community Church.”
“Of course! Have a seat.” Katie replied while moving her leather purse which had occupied the seat in question.
Mary Ann sat down and stared intentionally at the bulletin. Lord, I thank you that I can celebrate another year of life. Thank you for your salvation and your amazing love that you have for us all. I pray that the eyes and ears of the people in this church would respond to today’s message with a new sense of devotion and awe for your work.
Katie scanned the room to find, “Sean,” the new guy with the blond curly hair and beautiful brown eyes. God, please tell Sean to come to church today!
A few minutes later the worship team gathered on stage. Leading the congregation in familiar hymns such as “The Old Rugged Cross” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Katie stared up at words projected by the power point machine.
On a hill far away…
Why do we sing this song every Easter Sunday. I’m sure some Christian singer out there has come up with more upbeat song about Jesus’ death on the cross. Anything’s better than this ridiculous song. The lead singer is totally off key!
Mary Ann closed her eyes and allowed her mind to explore the incomprehensible love of her Lord Jesus Christ. A tear slowly slid down her face.
So I’ll cherish the Old Rugged Cross…
Katie glanced at her watch. Ten minutes! That’s all that passed by! This is going to be a long service.
Mary Ann glanced upwords, I do cherish you Lord.
And I’ll cling to that Old Rugged Cross…
Mary Ann glanced up at the screen displaying those life giving words. Lord, I remember the very day I came to you. This song was played by Sheila Hornsby on that old organ. The only instrument this church had back then. But the power of those words shook me. Lord, you’ve carried me so far in this life. Through so many trials, joys, ups and downs, but these words still remain true in my heart today….wait…Lord, to me they’re more than words. They’re the foundations for my beliefs. Thank you Lord.
Katie prayed silently that the worship team would hurry up with their "hokey" rendition of the hymn she referred to as, boring. Her prayer was answered and fifteen minutes later, the church drama group began their sacred renactment of the death of Jesus Christ.
Mary Ann stared intently at the dramatics which were taking place on the stage before her. Grief, astonishment, love, compassion and humility washed over her body as she saw the lights fade and heard the words spoken, “It is Finished.” Lord, I’ve seen this play three dozen times and never have I felt so moved. Lord, I put you on that cross. My sins nailed you there. Oh Lord, forgive me for taking your work in my life for granted.
Katie glared at the dark silhouette on stage who was frantically trying to move around the props to prepare for the resurrection scene. Some stage manager. I bet he didn’t come to one practice. Katie glanced down at the church bulletin. Let’s see…Yep. Jeffrey Hopkins is the stage manager. I could’ve guessed. That guy is so lazy. I can’t believe he even bothered to volunteer for that position.
Forty-Five minutes later the service was brought to an end by Pastor Thompson. He closed with a verse and a prayer. “Lord, I pray that what was spoken here today through music, drama and speech wouldn’t fall on deaf ears. I pray that people would have a revelation today of what You did for them on that fateful day. Today, Easter Sunday, is only a shallow reminder of the great love you showed to us when you willingly died on that cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
Katie’s mind tuned out the pastor’s prayer as she began thinking of the different outfits she could wear over the next few Sundays that would grab Sean’s attention. Her thoughts were interrupted by the chorus’ of “Amen’s” which followed the pastor’s closing prayer.
Katie smiled at Mary Ann as she bent down to grab her purse. As she stood back up, she locked eyes with the beautiful white haired lady. Hmm. It looks like she was crying. I wonder why.
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Yes... needs more action... perhaps the elderly woman could have her hair go up in flames from a community candle and the hymnbooks could be fashioned into a make-shift gurney to transport her to Brookeside General... Great as usual, Jess... Love the message and you conveyed it in a very engaging manner... the fact is, a great deal of action, and inaction, was occuring throughout the piece.
Congratulations on being Showcased! I love contrasts like this and enjoyed reading this article before. My only suggestion would be perhaps to indicate that Katie is a little older - at least 30-ish. (assumption is that she's 16 from the statement that this is her 16th Easter). It could be inadvertently seen as a put-down of teens rather than simply a contrast of attitudes as you intend it to be.