Letter from our Conference Minister
This week is a mix of emotions – from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to chanting crowds and waving palms, to the preparation of Judas to betray Jesus, to the washing of the disciples’ feet in humility, to the sharing of a Passover Feast which concludes with sharing the communion of bread and cup, to the arrest and scourging of Jesus, to the crucifixion and death of Jesus followed by his burial in a borrowed tomb…and then the waiting….through the night on Friday, through the day and night on Saturday and to the dawning of Sunday morning and the empty tomb.
We wait too. We wait for a return to some sort of normalcy in our nation, to a return of compassion and dialogue rather than diatribes, to a return of hope for peace…
And yet, as people of the Resurrection, as followers of Jesus, we know that Easter morning comes, that Jesus lives. Maya Angelou wrote a poem entitled, “Still I Rise.” Some of the words speak to the hope and energy in rising up in spite of the challenges and the hate.
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise…
Out of the huts of history's shame, I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain, I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear, I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise, I rise, I rise.”
Jesus, too, promised to rise and on Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, he does, leaving the tomb empty and providing hope for all that is yet to come. Jesus promised to rise, and he appears to the disciples and to many others in the days following the Resurrection. He continues to teach and preach and heal and equip the disciples to keep up his work – to let the people know the Good News of a God that accepts them, forgives them, and loves them.
It is a promise we need to accept and believe in. It is a promise we need to share with others. It is a promise that anchors us in hope, the hope of God’s generosity, blessings, and love. Happy Easter, my friends! Rise up and live in hope.