Beloved St. John’s community,
Happy Easter! It was so beautiful to see so many of you in person last Sunday – carefully, socially distanced, and celebrating with all our might that Easter always follows Lent. Spring always follows winter, and one day, this pandemic will be over. Each day, the sprouts of Beloved Community are pushing up from the soil, basking in the light of God.
On Sunday, our beloved former Rector the Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde preached a marvelous sermon in which she said that “resurrection is not an event, but a process.” And in fact, Easter is not a day, but a season—a fifty day season called Eastertide, which is divided into the first 40 days—essentially, the journey outward from the center of the labyrinth we entered during lent—followed by the final 10 days after Jesus ascends to heaven, which is a time of holy, expectant waiting for the promised Holy Spirit.
So during these fifty days, what does the process of resurrection look like?
I believe it looks like becoming more and more saturated with the love of God. It is about intentionally engaging what Paul describes in this way (Ephesians 3:16-19):
I pray that, according to the riches of God’s glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
As we are being “rooted and grounded in love,” the love that supersedes all other powers and is the reason for our hope, what does that love look like in our actual lives, in practice?
When you meet other St. John’s folks over zoom, what does love look like?
When you look at your children or spouse or family or neighbors, what does love look like?
As you watch Minneapolis during the trial of Derek Chauvin, what does love look like?
Imagine the love that flooded the disciples, that very first day of the resurrection, when Jesus appeared to the disciples, and breathed on them, and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” That image is meant to evoke the very beginning of creation, when God breathed into the nostrils of the first person, and as the scripture says, “the man became a living soul.” Jesus’ resurrection was not for himself. It was for the world. It was the life he shared with his disciples through the Holy Spirit and the same life that is shared with us today. In that life, we are liberated to ask the simple question,
What does love look like?
If you prayerfully ask this question every day throughout Easter, I wonder how your awareness and actions and attitudes might shift? If you know that you are already rooted and grounded in love, and you seek God’s help to recognize and deepen that experience, how might it play out in your way of life?
My prayer for all of us during this Eastertide is that we would experience the process that is resurrection, which is so powerful it is comparable to creation itself. Resurrection is being born of the power of love. May it be so.
In Christ’s love,