Greetings beloved friends, 

We are gathering for Easter in the midst of so much loss. Two years of this pandemic has drained so much of our energy, individually and collectively. Globally, we have lost more than six million people. We are living in the midst of many wars including the war in Ukraine, where violence is seeming to have the last and sometimes the only word. 

In the midst of so much that is broken in our human community we are reminded of this incredible story of resurrection where women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, and other women, went to a tomb to care for a body. A dead body. Jesus’ body. They ended up awakening to a new world view that was not familiar to them. It is not familiar to us. 

That is the real story of Easter, where God breaks through and gives us a new way to be. Providence is what we associate with the gift of God. When God invites us to a new way of being, that is providence. Jesus died and was raised from the dead: providence. 

Second thing I noticed in the story is also the deep courage of women who went to a tomb when there was so much controversy, so much fear, so much to be depressed about. But they moved, even in and through their grief to claim a deep resilience and courage that we are given as a gift. 

Finally, I think there is this deep sense of amazement that everyone is awakened to in the story of resurrection. Where people who were totally afraid were overcome with an overencumbered joy. The joy of knowing God is with us in a very real way. Not as a baby that is vulnerable anymore, but as the risen Christ giving us the strength to face our fears, our challenges, and  overcome everything that stymies us, and release us to this grace of joy.

So, my beloved friends, as you gather for your celebration of Easter this year, I pray that you will be filled with the reassurance of providence, a deep assurance of the courage that we have as followers of Jesus, and live into your joy abundantly.

Blessings as you celebrate Easter. And may you be filled with that deep intertwining peace of the risen Christ who has risen on a new year. Alleluia. Christ has risen indeed. Amen.

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