Dear St. John’s,
Do you remember how the first Easter came about? Beyond the cross, the crucifixion, death, and resurrection, there were people like you and me. And those people loved Jesus something fierce. In those early days following Jesus’ death, they were grieving. Maybe they had thought Jesus was going to save them from the Romans and they were afraid. They were anxious and hiding. They retreated to an upper room, the last place they had gathered together, and they locked the door. It was a quarantine of sorts. They were numb.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve talked with many of you and these emotions seem pretty familiar: love, grief, fear, anxiety, numbness. Each time I read from scripture these days; it resonates deeply with what is happening to us today. Funny how that works.
My sisters and brothers, our church building will remain closed at least through April 12th, which is Easter Day. This year, we will not be gathered together as we celebrate the Resurrection and that is hard. I am disappointed and I know you are too.
However, the longer I think about it, the more I realize this year our celebration of Easter most closely resembles the original Easter and that is special too. This year, we observe and celebrate our most sacred season of the year, Holy Week and Easter in our homes. This is a unique opportunity for us to be the body of Christ and for us to be reminded that the church is not a building. The church is all of us. The church is each of us praying, reading scripture, and observing this holy season in whatever ways we can. That might be participating in worship online. It might be creating a sacred space in your home. It might be lighting a candle each day and sitting in silence or reading scripture or praying for the world. Whatever it is you choose to do to observe this holy season, you are the church in your words and actions.
As I hear your voices on the phone and receive emails from so many of you, I am reminded of how connected we really are. We will be together again and when we are, what a grand celebration that will be!
Until then, please be kind to yourself. Take care of one another. And pray for the peace which passes all understanding.
Blessings to you,