The Heart of the Matter
I was feeling a little melancholy this morning as I read the following “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4). I found myself taking the scripture literally and was saddened by the fact that I will not be in “the house of the Lord” this Resurrection Sunday. What is there not to love about the “typical” Easter celebration? As we gather for the Sunrise service, Easter breakfast with other believers, seeing everyone (especially my grandkids) in their Easter finest, the feeling of the band swell as we sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” and watching children hustle to find all the Easter eggs (and – for my corps – the annual photo of all the corps kiddos in front of the building holding their egg-hunt stash). It’s not going to happen this Sunday.
I continue to think of the phrase “stripping away” during this time of quarantine, and I am profoundly aware of it this coming Easter. As all the physical accessories of this holy day will not be there, I feel God is reminding me that I must get to the heart of the matter. As I cannot be in the house of the Lord this Sunday I am reminded that I am the house of the Lord. Maybe the idea of shedding the “extras” as lovely and meaningful as they are, is what I need to get me back to the purest meaning of the day.
This year I will be saying that (He is risen) within my heart and maybe, just maybe…without all the other voices, I will contemplate just what it means to me more intimately.
The elimination of all the afore-mentioned aspects of my traditional Easter celebration makes me take a deeper, more reflective look at the empty tomb, disciples’ reactions, and resurrected body of my Lord. Don’t get me wrong I love to sing my heart out, hug everybody, and hear a crowd respond to “Christ the Lord is Risen!” (“He is risen, indeed!”) This year I will be saying that within my heart and maybe, just maybe…without all the other voices, I will contemplate just what it means to me more intimately.
I will be watching my community’s virtual worship service this Sunday and singing along with all recorded, traditional Easter hymns. Still, I will also be reminded of the following worship song:
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East