Thought for Weeks of Easter
In the days before Easter I was struck by the memory of a mature woman who had come to church over a year ago. She expressed her spiritual search with the words, "I'd like to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church." Later, as this dear woman immersed herself in the teachings of the confirmation class, she would reveal to me that she was battling an aggressive cancer.
This woman's story is profound and lovely. Because the cancer took over while she was receiving the instruction, she needed to be confirmed on her bed at home. It's hard to find words to describe the deep joy of that extraordinary experience. God's presence was palpable. He gave this dear woman the blessing of hope and rebirth in Christ, even while the cancer was wrecking havoc with her body.
It seems to me that that's an appropriate story for Easter time. In his suffering and death, Jesus entered the reality of our pain and suffering. He was tortured, and deserted. He even felt himself abandoned by God. And yet, there is hope in even that. It means that there's no human situation where Jesus has not been before us.
But, of course, that's not the end of the story. On Easter Sunday we come to the strangeness and joy of the resurrection. The tomb is empty, and the good news that we discover is that the Lord is risen. He is not simply brought back to life. Jesus' life is new, and in him, we are made new too.
My hope is that we will live fully into the light of this Easter Season. Let's recall that God breathes new life into us, so that we can really live in the joy of the risen Christ in our homes, in the community and the wider world.
--Rev. Ana Langerak
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