Recently, I came across a sermon I preached 20 years ago on Easter Sunday. Part of it went this way:
Last week, one of our church members sent me an email and an article from The Silicon Valley news, an informal newsletter. The article appeared last Monday morning right after the major stock market drop of last Friday. The subtitle of the article read, "Battered by market plunge, valley shareholders find solace in church, [and] core values." The article began by saying, "With today's market opening many hours away, Silicon Valley residents, over Sunday scones and cappuccino, were taking stock of their portfolios -- and their lives." The article went on to describe those who were considering their net worth beyond their financial gains. According to one source, there was a remarkable increase in church attendance last week. One person commented, "It's a reminder that I shouldn't get caught up in material things. . . . It's a good reminder to me of where to keep my heart." To sum it, the article said, "In this go-go-go valley, some are beginning to conclude the sum of their lives is not equal to the sum of their portfolio. Another person said, "It's just money. On our deathbeds, we're not going to think about how much money we have in the bank."
This Easter Sunday, some twenty years later, some things have changed, but some remain the same. Because we must shelter in place, there will not be "a remarkable increase in church attendance" - at least not in person, but I wonder how many will be looking for some kind of online worship service to give meaning to life in the face of this pandemic and the wild stock market fluctuations?
This Sunday's message is called "How Will This Change Us?" "This" refers both the pandemic and Easter. I hope you will plan to worship with us online -- and have some bread and grape juice or wine on hand as we will celebrate communion. My hope is that you will be changed - in a good way!