It’s hard to believe that it’s half way through April already. There are things that we are used to, familiar with, that help us judge the passing of time. While we are here, we are missing some of those things that are happening back in the States without us. At the same time, we are getting to experience a different culture’s passing of time, and learning to understand how time goes for them. This said, we found it hard to believe that this past Sunday was Easter. There were a few signs, such as the coming of spring, and a few chocolate bunnies in the store, but other than that, there wasn’t much.
Church on Easter was only slightly different than a “normal” Sunday here (but then again, there really never truly is a “normal” Sunday). We sang a few Easter songs, had communion, and the message was about Easter. It was a good service, just different than what we’re used to on a “normal” Easter Sunday. All four of us wore skirts, but most other people didn’t dress up more than usual.
There was one very special thing about the service, though. Easter Sunday was the debut of the worship team. We were all very, very excited! The Amor Viviente Church here in Barcelona is fairly new, so until now, they haven’t had a live worship team. Worship would always be one or two people singing along to songs played from a CD. So, it was a real treat to have all the music be live, and we were glad we were able to be here for the debut.
The woman in charge of the worship team, Karla, played the piano. Another guy played the guitar. Then there were about 10 people singing, passing 2 microphones around so everyone got a chance to be heard. Karla is an amazing piano player, and somehow added a touch of gospel to a bunch of songs in which we didn’t even know that was possible. At the end of the service, all the chairs were pushed toward the back of the church, and everyone was invited to stand together at the front of the church, and Karla led us in some songs.
Easter to me has always seemed like a bit of a somber holiday. After all, this was the date that Jesus’ life was ended in an unjust, horrific crucifixion, despite his perfect and innocent character. However, through these people, I was able to truly see the joy in the holiday. At the end of the service when we were all standing together at the front of the church, not only was everyone singing, but most people were also clapping, and some were even dancing. The atmosphere in the church was like that of a party, or a concert. Looking around, I noticed that everyone just couldn’t help but smile and laugh. The joy in that room was contagious.
So what if it didn’t “feel” like church? It was – there was a group of us there singing, praising, worshiping, and thanking Jesus for what He did on the cross. They didn’t ignore the sadness of the holiday, but instead chose to embrace the joy in it. It was different, yes, but I loved it, and I know it will be an Easter that I will never forget!
5 years ago