How ironic that I would be writing on this subject of “Celebrating Easter as a Group” in the midst of a historic pandemic that has stretched the globe and has prohibited gatherings of groups larger than 10 and even then, social distancing of 6 feet apart.
But regardless of our earthly circumstances, EASTER is NOT CANCELLED or being postponed and should be celebrated in many ways, more than ever. And yes, we can do so without forsaking the assembly.
The writer of Hebrews encouraged us in this way in Chapter 10: 23-25 – and notice his plurality in speech.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
So, this common confession of our hope that is in the Risen Christ, stirs up love and good works and creates this desire for us to be with other believers. So, how do we do that with these unusual restrictions?
Large Group Easter Celebrations
Pastors and church leaders are scrambling to provide large worship experiences via social media or online streaming. They are recreating live music sets, offering the message from God’s Word and providing opportunities for response through texting. Some have gone to other lengths to provide a church Drive-in experience, with families remaining in their parked cars while the worship team uses amplification or radio transmission as a means by which to share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection and therefore, we are not forsaking the assembly.
Small Group Easter Celebrations
For me, I still thrive in an environment of vulnerability and accountability. So, in these days, we are utilizing live video conferencing in order to be able to see and hear from our Sunday School / Small Group participants. And yes, I must raise my hand to talk, or put my comments on the chat tool in order to speak or share a prayer request, – but we are all together at one time, on the same computer screen. And you know what? It feels like a small group that is not forsaking the assembly.
Home Group Easter Celebrations
Should we be reminded that the first small groups and churches met in homes? So, now would be a great time to get back to basics and gather as a family for devotion, Bible Study, participate in an online worship experiencing. So, even as a family, confined to the four walls of our home, we do not have to forsake the assembling of ourselves – when we are together.
Steve Bradshaw is the director of evangelism and strategic initiatives for the SBC of Virginia.