It may be Easter in exile, but we are not left on our own to fend for ourselves. We are empowered by the risen Christ to claim that new life, eternal love, and God’s glory are designed for all people. This means not only feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and offering our thoughts and prayers to those who are harmed by the sin of racism; it also means doing the hard work of leading systemic change that keeps people hungry, keeps people homeless, and inequitably causes harm to communities of color.
Build your homes. Live in them. Plant gardens. Go for an isolated walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Seek the well-being of the community in which you live. Learn to live as Easter people in a time of exile.
How do you celebrate Easter in the midst of a global pandemic? Here is the good news! God does not wait for us to be ready before acting. God does not need our in-person gathering to do holy work. God preempts any fear, concern, or viral infection through the faithfulness of Jesus, which conquers death to offer us each, and all, new life! Christ is Risen!
“Jesus wept.” Such a profound and compact Biblical witness to the faith of Jesus Christ. But Jesus’ tears may surprise you. These divine tears are not just a witness to Jesus’ deep love for humanity, but are a reminder of the depth of Jesus’ faithfulness to his calling as Savior.
The celebration of 170 years of ministry does not come without some honest reflection. The story of Washington Street UMC is a story of redemption: If God could use the Roman cross and symbols of oppression, God can and certainly does use a church built with the money of slaveholders to tell a new story – a story of reconciliation, love, and resurrection.
Tabitha’s resurgent life is no more for herself that Peter’s resurgent faith is for himself. Peter’s gift of faith brings about new life in Tabitha, which in turn brings about new life and new faith in the community.
In the midst of our worst seasons of life, we will find a resurgence of life when we slow down and gather with one another in the presence of the Risen Christ. Slow down, and share some grilled salmon by the fire pit.
Too many people see the empty tomb, but fail to see the presence of the risen Lord in their midst. The good news of Easter Sunday is not just that the Lord is risen, it’s that the risen Lord is calling your name, and inviting you to receive the gift of new life.
To be faithful to our call as a church community, it takes being engaged disciples. You don’t have to be perfect, highly educated, wealthy, or beautiful – you just have to be willing to respond, knowing Christ goes with you.
Easter is not a call to return to the way things were. It is a reminder that in Christ’s resurrection, God’s love wins out over death. It is an invitation to see ourselves redeemed in the reflection of God’s grace, as we hear our name called by the risen Lord, that we may go forth to share the good news, that Christ the Lord is risen today!