Sunday, April 19 2020
Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
This Easter was different from any Easter I have ever celebrated. The Corona Virus has us locked up in our houses and apartments like the disciples were locked up in the upper room for fear that they would be punished by the ruling religious leaders. Our journey through Lent and Holy Week was possible because of the work of so many from our faith community. Thank you to Alex, the choir, Coral, Fr, John, Claire, Barb, and everyone that helped make the Holy Week and Easter Services a reality. Our church reflected who we are as a congregation.
At morning prayer this week Dr. Nina Grief shared some ways that we could all stay healthy. The first suggestion for those staying home is to stay on a schedule. The second idea is to get some fresh air even if is just for a few minutes. The third idea is to due prayer or meditation every day. For those who are essential workers, please take care of yourselves with good habits of eating, sleep and rest. If you are feeling depressed or overly anxious, please seek professional help. Each of us should try and come to terms with living in uncertainty in the coming months. I urge you to take care of yourself and one another. Be compassionate, kind and generous.
Join us for Morning Prayer, Bible Study, St. Hilda’s, EFM, Sacred Stories, or at Sunday Eucharist. This is Eastertide – the fifty days from Easter through Pentecost. Easter is not just a one-day celebration; it is a fifty-day celebration we also call the Easter Season. It is impossible to predict where we will be at the end of May, so live in the moment and focus on your physical and spiritual health.
This week Christine Dore will perform a piano concert on Facebook Live for emergency relief for food and shelter for those in need in Huntington. We have already distributed $9,200.00 through our connection with Huntington Rapid Response. Thanks to Susan, Pat and Heather for their connections in the community to insure that this money gets immediately to those in need. Thanks also to Project Hope with Dan our tenant that is preparing meals every day in our kitchen.
These fifty days hold special meaning as an entire season to intentionally celebrate new life in the resurrection of Jesus. The friends of Jesus arrived at the tomb on that Easter morning and found that his tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was not there because he had risen in victory to overcome death. That is reason to celebrate!
Through our life in Jesus Christ, we too are raised from the dead to a new life; not just raised to the victory of salvation in eternal life but raised to victory in this life in the here and now. The negative and dead ways of living and thinking no longer have control over us. We are raised to live a new life of hope. The resurrection offers us a new way to think and live in this world. The resurrection gives us the way to overcome those defeating ways of life that slowly destroy faith and hope. The First Letter of Peter says it well, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (I Peter 1:3)
Continue to experience the awe and wonder of the resurrection this Eastertide. Go for walks and take up new practices like yoga or meditation. Zoom in to the celebrations of the Holy Eucharist and Morning Prayer. Stay connected as a community of faith and look after those who are anxious, lonely, or afraid. We are Easter People at St. John’s because we choose a new life in Christ. Please stay safe and be the church to those who are vulnerable and afraid.
In Christ’s love,