Welcome to Spring, Formation Friends!
How in the world we have survived a year in a pandemic compounded with political and social unrest is in itself miraculous. To be honest, it seemed like Lent 2020 was an entire year that just bled right into Lent 2021. Here we are, on the cusp of the other side. This seemingly year long Lent is ready for Easter. To be honest, I am too!
At the beginning of March an article in the New York Times caught my eye, "Teens on a Year That Changed Everything"
. Even if you aren't a teenager, don't have a teenager at home or at church, I encourage you to read it. The images and words shared, chosen out of over 5,000 submissions from across the country, are an incredible window into what we have all shared in this year. It was powerful and devastating and hopeful all at the same time. Just like Holy Week and Easter.
In a year where I didn't do so well with my Lenten discipline, I realized in years past I was so focused on the right practices for Lent and the right things to do for Holy Week, that I missed the point. I missed living through the power of the Palm Story narrative when we yell "Crucify Him!" I missed the feeling the real heartbreak of Good Friday. Missing these things, for me, tempered the true hope and real joy of the empty tomb on Easter morning.
Just like the power and hope that comes from the Resurrection, new life can and will grow from the dark time of a historic pandemic. This new life isn't just lived in one day either. In recent years the 50 days of Eastertide have taken on more meaning in the Episcopal Church. I hope you will think about observing Eastertide this year as way to not only grow in the hope of the season, but in a coming post pandemic life. 17 year old Haven Hutchinson said this in the New York Times article "All summer, my Instagram feed was filled with people throwing their own proms and finding fun ways to make this summer the best despite the pandemic. Finding a way to be happy in hard times is essential to making it through." We have been changed by this time, no doubt, having found glimmers of hope in the darkness. Now we are on the cusp of being in the light.
Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation