On this Easter weekend the word is Rejoice! This is the day that the Lord has made. God’s love and mercy have been poured out for all and to all. By his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus has conquered sin and defeated death. No longer do sin and death have power over us. A new day dawns for new life has dawned for all of us, a life in God’s tender loving care that survived sin and overcomes death. Jesus has shown us the way to the Father. The crosses we carry: our fears and our struggles; our sorrows; and our traumas; are united with the cross of our Lord, which did not end in pain and death but with joy and life. May the promise of the Resurrection fill us with hope, enliven our lives, and lead us to life eternal.
Again and again over the last three years we have longed for a return to normality, a return to what it was like before COVID-19. It is an understandable sentiment, considering the difficult changes and traumatic losses we’ve suffered in our everyday lives. Easter does not point us to the past, but to the future. The Resurrection is not a resuscitation, but a transformation. The disciples did not return to their lives from three years before, to fishing and collecting taxes and hanging around Galilee. No their lives were transformed. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they preached the gospel and made disciples of all nations. This challenge is ours as well. We may not be hiding like the disciples before the Spirit came at Pentecost, but we may be overwhelmed by darkness that envelops our world in so many ways. In the face of violent storms, wars and gun violence, illness and death, we may feel that the dawn will never come. We look to our God who raises the dead, to heal our world, our nation, our neighborhood, and the church, and to restore us to life and join us together in loving service.
On behalf of Fr. George, Donna Brown, Linda Schafer, Mary Jo Hennemann, Steve Fluur, Dale Steingold, Carl Reyes, all the standing committees, and myself we extend to all our parishioners, families, and friends a blessed Easter season. May the fifty days of this season bring us the peace, joy, and love of the Risen Christ.