Saturday, October 6, 2007

waves of energy


Central Moravian Church
Originally uploaded by toddheft
sounds like I am going to teach physics, but instead this is about baseball and Easter. I grew up a big sports fan with my dad taking me to see all the major teams in Philadelphia. I rarely watch sports anymore, and did not make it to a game this year, but I follow the Phillies and so I too felt the communal boost of joy when the Phillies emerged at the top of their division. The joy and hope have taken a big hit after two playoff losses, but before that happened thoughts of Easter came into my head.

Margaret grew up Moravian. A few Easters back we decided to go to Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, which is not far from my parents. I grew up thinking that Moravians were a major denomination, but they are not. But Central is a large church and I would say they pack in over a 1000 folk with ease, which is is huge for keep in mind my Episcopal church is packed at just over 100 folk. So there we were standing to sing a hymn, and I can tell you, there is not much better in my life than being part of a congregation which is familiar with a hymn. I was singing Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, the joy and celebration of Easter.

So why does the Phillies making it into the playoffs bring up Easter. In 1980 I went with my dad to see the Phillies win the world series. I would love to tell you who knocked in the winning run, but I can't. I can tell you that I remember Tug McGraw flinging himself into the air and thus began the celebration.... the team, the 60,000 fans, and even the police on horses lining the field to keep the crowd controlled. My dad had started driving home from games by driving north on some road that ran parallel to Broad Street which took us through various neighborhoods. That night the city was different. People were everywhere. Celebrating.

I know that as an introvert, these mass celebrations of God and Phillies should have frightened me, but they didn't. All of this tells me that a celebratory event, that brings people together, provides hope that gets us through times of doubt and losing seasons.

3 comments:

  1. Will have to google and search out what "Moravian" equates to. I went to a Serbian Orthodox out in California and discovered a bar right there within the small sanctuary. It must have been for after-service gatherings, though, as I don't recall anybody placing an order. Also went to some brand of Pentecostal with my wife during my second tour on the coast and when they opened it up & prayed all at the same time, it scared me to death. Told her no more of that or we would be divorced before we even got started. Both occasions, however, were well prior to my coming to Christ in '72.

    Wanted to comment on your last post, but somehow let it slide too long. Your students may be a bit older than what I'm dealing with, but I can identify with both the need to put the teacher role to prayer and the struggle to make prayer more than just conversation on the go.

    I'm enjoying the read, my friend. Keep 'em coming...

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  2. I think Moravians are more conventional than that, however, many at my Episcopalian church wouldn't mind that bar.

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  3. Those kinds of celebrations are so memorable.

    Central Moravian is a really special place. I haven't yet been to an easter service there, though... it must be really nice.

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