During our church service this morning the choir had just finished the Anthem; with trumpet and organ celebrating at full volume, when a young child in the rear of the sanctuary expressed total joy with something between a giggle, a shout and an Amen!
What struck me was the contrast between the hundreds of adults; clergy and lay, assembled to celebrate the greatest source of universal joy in Christianity and the young child who was truly joyful. The adults seemed almost solemn as they sat obediently in the pews, embarrassed by their lateness, concerned about their hair, challenged to read words accurately or distracted by the many logistics of a large church Easter service. While the child was oblivious to the context of the story or the social norms for quiet; she knew in her whole being the splendor that is Easter.
In our various roles connected to theological education and ministry, we have the privilege of spending our time immersed in the wonders of faith and the leadership of its institutions. With that privilege comes a responsibility to keep the magic of the Christ story vibrant for parishioners and especially young children on Easter Sunday.
We so often focus on the human worries of budgets, attendance, rates of giving, evaluations, papers and tests and somehow lose sight of the bigger mission. We exist as a Seminary to help form the faith leaders of tomorrow and help them to enter ministry with the skills and passion to serve.
Perhaps we are too mature or Minnesotan to unabashedly squeal with joy at the Good News that Christ has Risen, but perhaps those reservations explain our challenges of leadership in our churches, seminaries and denominations.
I wish everyone a Happy Easter and an ability to truly experience the love of the Resurrection story!