I confess that I really miss seeing you, your faces, hearing your laughter, singing together and praying with one another around the Table of the Lord!
It is Easter and I can remember in years past that we gather with our beautiful altar hangings, lilies placed on the shelf behind the altar. The church bells are chiming 10. 10 tolls to call us to worship, calling us to Christ, calling us to be God’s Holy People.
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!
I love the back and forth of our Easter greeting. One person begins the greeting confessing their faith that Christ is risen! This greeting calls out in the other that same profession of faith. Christ is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!
My friends, Christ is Risen at every level of our life, even at this dark time in our world. Christ is with us. We are His People as we remember once again the events, the words and the life-saving actions of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. We remember the festive entrance into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday! Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord! This last week of Jesus’ earthly life moves so quickly. There is a cleansing of the Temple. This is my Father’s house! Teaching in the temple area. Healing the many who come before him. Speaking with the children. Calling all to accept the Kingdom of God like these children. And then on Passover Night, Jesus is taken captive by the Roman and Temple Guards. We see Jesus in a mock trial. Falsely accused. Sentenced to death! The 40 lashes of the whip. The crowning with thorns. The disciples are scattered. Jesus carries the cross. He is crucified. The sky turns black. Jesus breathes his last. The curtain in the Temple is torn in two from top to bottom. Jesus is buried in an unmarked grave. They return to their homes in sorrow and fear waiting for the Passover to end and then to be able to return and to give Jesus a proper anointing and burial.
On Easter morn the women hurry to the tomb in the early morning hour expecting to find the dead body of Jesus and all they find is the empty tomb! Their Jesus gone! How? Where? No one had taken Jesus anywhere! He was raised up by the Power of God! Angels rolling the stone away! Then Jesus appears to them! Do Not be afraid! Go and tell my disciples that they will see me again! Mary! Jesus calls her by name. She falls at his feet. Stunned. Shaking but finally believing that Her Jesus was alive again! Jesus disappears. Mary runs to tell the others. The Lord is Risen!
No one can say when the virus will cease its present hold on our country and world. Perhaps life will be forever changed in some way for all of us. But we will go forward! Jesus is Risen, not just for a day but for all time and for all of us. He is Risen. We see Him all around. We are strong as we stand together. We will be faithful to our mission “to share our faith in Christ with the community in all seasons!” We couldn’t have ever imagined a season like the one we have now! But Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen! Indeed! Alleluia! That is all we really need to know!
God bless you and your families. Thank you from Joan and myself for all your support during these trying days. Our prayer and wish for us all is that the true peace and joy of Christ will be with us today and everyday as we go forward together!