Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Looking back over past years’ editions of the Chimes, usually April is where I write a joy-filled letter all about Easter and the resurrection. Of course, Easter feels very different this year. We are under a stay-at-home order and have not gathered for public worship in several weeks.
At St. Paul’s, we are working to maintain a sense of normalcy amid all the changes—video services with familiar words and familiar hymns, reaching out (from a distance!) in love and compassion to those around us—but I know that even so, none of this feels normal. We are adapting to new realities and at the same time grieving for what has been lost.
I’ve heard it said that Christians are called to be an Easter people in a Good Friday world. That we live in the hope and truth of the resurrection, even in the midst of sorrow and grief. That is true today more than ever. Being an Easter people doesn’t mean ignoring pain and death or pretending that they don’t have real consequences in our lives. Being an Easter people means
trusting that no matter how deep the pain goes, the worst part of our story is never the last part of our story.
The first Easter morning didn’t arrive to people who were jubilant and preparing for a day of festivities. It came to people living in the shadow of death and loss. To people grieving. To people who were hopeless. It came to people who were going on solitary walks in gardens, who were sequestered in a house together, who were seeking meaning in the midst of a new reality.
Easter will come this year, whether or not we are together, whether or not there are lilies and cute outfits, brunches and family gatherings. Easter will come because God is always at work bringing resurrection and new life, in a million small and large ways.
Dear friends, this Easter I pray that we experience the resurrection in ways old and new. That we trust God’s power to work in the darkness of the tomb to bring new life. May you be blessed by God’s presence with you wherever you are and sustained by God’s love and care.