Exerpts from the Newsletter
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A message from Pastor Laurie:
Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
This year those words of jubilation signal not only the joy of the Resurrection of Our Lord but a return to in-person worship after months of worshipping remotely. At this time last year, we were stunned to learn that we would not be able to celebrate Easter together in our sanctuary. Easter – the most important day of the church year! After a year of restrictions with few occasions to see one another as we are accustomed, we can once again come together for worship. It will not be “normal,” we still must observe guide-lines, but at least we can be in our sanctuary listening to live music and joyous hymns and surrounded by beautiful flowers and partaking in the Eucharist.
In the Gospel of Mark, the gospel narrative we are reading this church year, the women who go to the tomb are concerned about who will roll the stone away from the entrance so they can embalm the body of Jesus. The huge stone would prevent them from carrying out the traditional rituals that not only showed respect for the dead but also helped them to mourn their loss.
Imagine their shock when they find the stone rolled back and the tomb empty! Yet, although his body is no longer there, his presence is still with them. The messenger from God assures them that Jesus, who was dead, has been raised, and that he will meet his followers in Galilee as promised. The women are terrified, yet they bring the message to the others and indeed, they will encounter the risen Christ.
This Easter we find that the stone that has been imprisoning us – for our safety, but still confining and sometimes depressing – is slowly being rolled away. As we receive vaccinations and learn more about fighting this deadly virus, less people will get sick and more will survive. We have gone through a great trial and have emerged, not without scars, but alive and looking forward to the future once again. It is a resurrection of life as we knew it, of sorts. Things will probably never be the same, some changes will be required. As with most trials, we have been trans-formed.
As Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza wrote, “Resurrection does not simply spell the survival of the soul but requires the transformation of the world as we know it.” (from her book Jesus, Miriam’s Child, Sophia’s Prophet)
With special gratitude for the Resurrection this year, Pastor Laurie