GOODHUE COUNTY -- I was having trouble connecting to a Churches Around the Park Good Friday video, mostly due to a lack of signal where I was at the time, I believe. Later, "Seven Last Words" loaded just fine. It took me awhile to figure out there weren't just seven individual words, rather the phrases Jesus said while suffering on the cross. Some key words from those seven phrases were: "forgive," "truly," "disciple," "forsaken," "finished," "thirst" and "commend." The pastors spoke from seven separate locations with various backgrounds at desks and pulpits. Music included guitar, keyboards and a table full of bells.
On Maundy Thursday, I listened to a service where the pastors are a married couple — no social distancing necessary. I watched the nice video while sitting at my windowsill. When they gave each other communion, I wondered if they'd fed each other cake at their wedding. There was a time for "Silent Response" with those words appearing on the screen. Yet there was a single loud bell in the background. It sounded big. We couldn't see it. I wondered who was handling it, maybe the pianist, maybe one of the pastors, maybe somebody else. It kept going and going. I noticed I was counting. It didn't stop at one dozen, or two dozen. As it was nearing 30, I wondered, "Will it stop at 33?" It did. One ring for each year of His life.
There is going to be a lot more tolling on Easter Sunday at 10 a.m. as these same churches and more come together while staying apart to "make a joyful noise."
I don't know if the church we navigated to in Goodhue has any bells. But we saw the bell tower from the the highway and after several dead ends pulled up to the curb. The sky was blue, the grass was green, and I could imagine a bunny rabbit and colorful Easter eggs enjoying a quiet Sunday there by just being themselves.