Hello, Friends –
We have never experienced an Easter like this. Usually we are looking forward to getting together in church, singing our hymns, greeting friends, saying prayers with one voice. We usually gather with friends and family for dinner, with its laughter and stories and memories. But this year many of us will be alone or just with our immediately family in our homes and apartments.
But friends, it is still Easter. Some government official has declared that the Easter Bunny is an essential worker, and someone has just left a chocolate bunny (wrapped and delivered with gloves) at my front door. Easter will arrive, And on Easter morning we will celebrate the Risen Christ, even if we are celebrating in new and unfamiliar ways. Please remember that, even if we are apart, we are not alone. We are together as the Children of God.
I am attaching a copy of Pastor Winston’s Palm Sunday meditation, and here is a link to his podcast on the meaning of the cross: https://www.secondtable.org/podcast/episode/48ae32f6/the-meaning-of-the-cross
I also would invite you to pray with me this Easter Sunday for the sick and the scared, for public health officials, for doctors and nurses, for researchers, and for caregivers.
Wash your hands,
Christ has risen – He has risen indeed!
Judith & Winston
The thing about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that I think we tend to forget, is that it defied expectations. The Jewish people expected the Messiah to come on a warhorse with a great army, ready to take over the city through military strength. Others expected the Messiah to come riding on the clouds, with legions of angels by his side in full glory. But Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey. A work animal. Jesus came into the city unexpectedly, like a simple servant. And because of that, he was rejected by so many people. He was not recognized as the Messiah, because they were expecting something else. They were disappointed by what they saw in Jesus.
We are having to deal with a lot of unexpected things right now. None of us expected, even a month ago, that we would be where we are now, doing church in this way, doing life in this way. I think it has been hard for all of us in one way or another. We are being forced to give up a lot. This situation makes giving up chocolate for Lent look like a joke. Many of us are living in fear. The future is uncertain. It’s normal for us to be afraid and normal for us to grieve and wonder why this is happening. Yet, I do believe that God is with us in this. There are unexpected blessings in this. We are learning that we can still connect even if we are not present with each other physically. Many people are spending more time with their families. Although the situation is bringing out the worst in some people, it is also bringing out kindness and compassion in other people. It reminds me of what Mr. Rogers once said:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
In a way, this is saying, keep your eyes out for God. In a bad situation it can be very easy to miss God. But we must remember that God enters into our lives, into our situations in unexpected ways. We must trust that God is here, with us and in our midst. God is the love that is between us. Amen.