You’re on Mute

Apr 4, 2021

Easter Homily by Reverend Rebecca Bryan

“Oh, Reverend Rebecca, you’re on mute.”

“Sally, you’re on mute.”

“Jeffrey, we can’t hear you.”

What started as an occasional occurrence became commonplace within weeks, if not days. Isn’t that the way it is?

We step over the unpacked boxes on the kitchen floor from our recent move that is now five months ago or more. We tell ourselves we need to unpack them one of these days. We subscribe to another important journal or daily email to read about a critical topic. This time we’re certain that we will make it a practice to read it. We recognize our own bad habits, vowing to stop, and we never change. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten” goes the old saying.

The past thirteen months have forced the world to change, at least for a time. People have had to slow down and find new ways to connect.

We learned Zoom, remembered how to cook, and found delight in taking walks. We recognized we are not entirely dependent on gym memberships for our health, on eating in restaurants for good food, or on spending large amounts of time traveling for happiness. So too did we come to appreciate how interdependent we truly are, how we much need one another and love one another. These have been vulnerable, humbling, deepening times.

I saw all of that in the “you’re on mute” phenomenon that seemed to happen at least every other Zoom meeting or gathering. Someone would be muted and either not realize it or not know how to change it or both!

Those muted would be filled with frustration, embarrassment, or anxiety as they fumbled for the microphone. Sometimes they would throw their hands in the air, admitting they didn’t know why it isn’t working. Occasionally they even had to hang up and log back in again. The looks of compassion, care, and tolerance in response to all this moved me. Whatever the situation, the other people on Zoom were on their team. We cheered loudly, quietly, even silently every time a person who had been muted found his voice or her voice. We wanted every person to belong.

As we emerge from this time, I invite you to take the time to make note of the good things you’ve learned and commit to doing differently. We have the opportunity to not do what we’ve always done so that we won’t get what we’ve always gotten. Let’s make this Easter a time of genuine change, for the better.

May we take what we learned that is good and holy and carry it into our lives. May we remember that we are most definitely interconnected, in need of one another, and that we want to hear everyone’s voice. May we live as though we are on the same team called one humanity in which each person and even each creature is an essential part of our one holy, broken, blessed universe.

Amen and blessed be.

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