Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it a great Easter weekend at church!
It started with the Good Friday tenebrae service, a service that is always one of my favorites but this year was especially meaningful. Then the Saturday Easter egg hunt. Wow! So well organized, so many kids! Even the adults had fun. EasterSunday was wonderful. The sanctuary was beautiful. The musicians were at their best. The cinnamon roll brunch was delicious. And careful attention went to decorating tables and making the fellowship hall look like Easter. Simply Worship participants were grateful for the leftover cinnamon rolls.
I’m not listing any names. If I started, I’m not sure where I’d stop. Let me just say that many, many worked hard on all the extra things that made Easter so special this year. Thank you all!
OK, one name. Justin House. He opened the tenebrae service with a song that set the tone for the worship that followed. The song is called “Who Am I?” I have a link below so you can listen to the song. (It’s someone else singing though, so it won’t be as good.)
This is a modern song based on an old poem. The poem was written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his prison cell in Nazi Germany. About one month after he wrote this he was executed for his role in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. (He was executed on April 9, 1945, 70 years ago this Thursday, just three weeks before Hitler’s own death.) Bonhoeffer was a Christian. Many Christians in Nazi Germany went along with Hitler. Life was easier that way. Bonhoeffer never did.
Why didn’t he choose the easier path? Read this poem and you may begin to understand.
Who am I?
Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
like a Squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
freely and friendly and clearly,
as though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
equally, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
tossing in expectation of great events,
powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?
Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person to-day and to-morrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!
Yesterday we celebrated Easter. Today may we all live Easter in the hard choices we make that will honor Jesus Christ.