I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.
-Amanda Gorman, "The Miracle of Morning"
Although we will remain masked a little longer, in many ways this Easter will look and feel like a return to something more normal.
We will gather in the Courtyard to flower the cross, enjoy hot cross buns, watch the children hunt eggs in the Beeloved Garden, bring back the alleluias, sing and receive the bread and cup as one Body. But, friends, we all know that just below the surface, the wounds of the last two years remain fresh. We will miss the Saints who entered the Church Triumphant since we last gathered in the Sanctuary for Easter, those who came in their Sunday best to flower the cross, sing in the choir, set the Table and hide the eggs. We remain painfully and often personally aware of the physical and emotional cost of the last two years. Anxiety, sadness and weariness live alongside a yearning for justice and a defiant hope. We carry everything that has happened during these last two years. We give it voice tonight at the Maundy Thursday service, and it goes with us into Good Friday and Easter morning.
Just as the disciples responded differently when they reached the empty tomb – some cautious, others curious, some afraid, others ignited with hope – we too approach the future with a variety of responses for we know that the future is never a return to normal. The future always bears its own promise and possibility; its own endings and beginnings.
Last year, artist Martha Nichols brought Mark’s gospel to life with her Illustrated Gospel of Mark. You can view her illustrations below. They are also displayed in the Hospitality Gallery (across from the Parlor kitchen). The one featuring Mark 16:7 will be on Sunday’s bulletin cover. “Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
The Good News of Jesus is that their lives never returned to normal and ours won’t either for the future is never a return to normal, but rather a rise to new life!