A Message for Easter Week
For two years, I have begun this letter with the phrase, “This is an unusual time” and continued by encouraging everyone to endure, and to overcome the challenges that lay before us. And, while this year is still far from ordinary or usual, it is at least a bit more ordinary than the last two. This year we will be together in our sanctuary. This year we will have lilies that we can smell and friends that we can see, and touch.
If we have learned anything from two years of mask wearing, social distancing, overcrowded hospitals, case count watching, and involuntary separation from friends and family, it is the value of community. While we did what we could to cling to what bits of human connection that we had through phone calls, video, and social media, none of those things could ever take the place of handshakes, hugs, and face-to-face, unmasked conversation.
In an odd, and completely unintentional way, this experience also helps us to better understand how much we miss the contact with our loved ones who have gone on to live with Jesus, or how much better it will be to see them again, face-to-face, and to physically feel a hug from Jesus. Our experience with loss over the last two years can help us to see what we are missing and what joy we stand to gain when, and if, the day arrives for us to walk through the gates of heaven and be reunited with those whom we have lost.
But presently, let us prepare our hearts for this season of holy week and Easter and use that time to draw closer to God and to one another. And this year, after a two-year absence, I encourage everyone to make plans to join us in the sanctuary and share the joy of resurrection along with the joy of once again being together.
No, the pandemic isn’t completely over, and no, we’re not completely out of the woods just yet. But things are safer than they have been, and they are returning to normal.
I hope that you will make plans to be here as we celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Saturday, and our celebration Easter morning. I hope that we will once again see one another face-to-face, shake hands, and even get a few hugs (can you tell that I missed those)? And I hope that each of you will take this opportunity to invite your friends, your family, your neighbors, and everyone else, to be a part of that celebration with you.
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