April was a month filled with special services! We gathered for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally two Easter services. Thank you to Elaine Hessil, Linda Hau and Jill Sipple for bringing inspiring music to our Lenten and Easter services. The music was wonderful! During Lent we followed Jesus as he approached Jerusalem and then we watched helplessly as he faced the religious authorities in that great city. We cried as he was arrested, convicted and then crucified. We were struck with awe and confusion when Mary returned from the tomb and declared it to be empty. And when Jesus appeared to his disciples we shouted with joy!
It can be comforting to look to the past, revel in the memories, relive the moments of triumph. But we are an “Easter people.” Being an Easter people, we know that we aren’t limited to the past. We can see the future with its unlimited possibilities. We see hope where others see only hopelessness. We feel love where others feel hate. We know that with the risen Christ we are called to be more, we are called to live in the present with a hope and grace filled future awaiting us. I believe we will need to live with grace and love as a summer filled with unknowns awaits us here in Wisconsin.
Summer ushers in vacations, time at the cabin, visiting relatives, family reunions, ball games and sometimes just sitting in the backyard enjoying the songbirds. Wherever you go this summer remember that all about you are the blessing of our Lord. These blessings are not only at the destination they are along the path. All you need to do is look about, listen, take in the smells of the woods or an open field.
If you encounter someone consumed in the politics of the day, filled with pain and suspicious of the future, say a prayer for that person, ask for a quiet heart so that person may find peace and rest. There will be plenty of political stress later this year and next summer. Be at peace this summer let nothing come between you and the peace of Christ.
Throughout the summer never lose sight of the fact that we are an Easter people. Always remember; there is nothing in all Creation that can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ. This is what we learned on Easter morning.
Shout with joy each and every day that Christ is risen and we are saved. This is a good way to greet the days of summer.
Peace and grace,