[Editor’s note: This post was originally written and shared last year, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.]
My favorite moment of the entire church year is Easter Sunday. I love standing in the packed sanctuary and hearing the congregation proclaim “He is risen indeed” like a peal of thunder. But this year we don’t get to do that, and no live-streamed church service can adequately replicate that moment.
As I was grieving the loss of that celebration, though, I had an idea. I ran it past the Rabbit Room staff to be sure I wasn’t crazy, and I think we all got a little choked up thinking about how good it could be. So we sent out an email asking a few folks to send us videos of themselves and their families saying “He is risen. He is risen indeed.” We’d edit them together with some music (Andrew’s “Risen Indeed” from Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1) and call it a day. Simple right?
Well it wasn’t long before we realized that this provided us a chance to make the Easter declaration on a broader scale than even an Easter Sunday in-person service. Folks began asking friends in different countries and different languages to send in videos. The project grew from a few friends, to an assembly of Christians from the whole world across. This may not be every nation and tribe, every people and tongue, but it does include more than 40 nations and more than 25 languages, with more than 150 participants in total.
The result makes me cry every time I watch it. This is the Church. The Bride of Christ. Alive and well. Socially distant, yet eternally present, in sickness and in health.
From all of us, to all of you, Happy Eastertide! Declare it far and wide. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.