I rose at 3am to prepare for the drive to Toronto. My calculations were based on regular traffic patterns so I arrived nearly an hour early for the 5:45am meeting in the parking lot at Ashbridges Bay Park on Lake Ontario in Toronto. My friend Mary phoned me at 5am and we had a lovely Easter morning chat. Cell phones and computers are magnificent examples of vehicles for relationship in this crazy 21st century. It was so good to speak to her and feel connected to my "roots" from seminary on my first Easter morning as an ordained minister. In the past few days I've felt the absence of my parents so acutely. It was good to feel connected to Mary. She feels like family to me.
The people gathered in the dark and we began our walk to the lake. It was brutally icy. Snow melted and refrozen day after day made for treacherous walking to the place where we were to have our sunrise service. It was dark and cold when we started. But by the time we left the sun was rising as the full moon was setting. The communion had been laid out on the rocks by the lake. We sang and prayed. I preached and Rev. Deana celebrated communion. We ate breakfast together at Sunrise Grill. And then we headed to MCC Toronto for the 9:00am Easter service. And what a service it was.
Those generous souls at MCC Toronto allowed me to carry an Easter lily to the altar and invited me to anoint and serve communion during the service.
"Be anointed this day to be healed and as healer. And may the peace of this Easter morning fill your heart."
It was an incredible gift to be able to offer this to people who came forward. I looked into their eyes. It was a humbling experience. They they came for communion and I offered the bread and juice to them as well. Again I had the privilege of serving. It felt good.
Today I learned again the deep need I have to serve God in her church. On days when I wonder if it was all worthwhile, if it was just my ego or a dream I once had the led me to this place, on those days I will remember this first Easter morning. The fear is mingled with great joy. Christ is risen, risen indeed.