Last Sunday, I attended the funeral of a cousin who passed away four days earlier from renal failure. He was 50 years old, leaving behind his parents, wife, and several children. I think one of the hardest things of all must be to stand at the grave site of your child. It’s just not the way things are supposed to happen; and yet it does.

Parents, families, and friends live with the reality of death every day, even as I am remembering our beloved Betty Robinson whose beautiful life we celebrated on April 13th. The list is long and sadly among the headlines this week are Ellis Parlier and Riley Howell – young college students shot down on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

As we lament the sorrows of sickness and death, seemingly endless divisions, violence, and hatred, and our own denomination’s unwillingness to fully accept all brothers and sisters without distinction, we remember that we are still in the Easter season. We need these many days and weeks to remind ourselves that despite how things appear, new life and transformation are not only possible but are happening all around us. And equally important, we remember that we too are called to be signs of resurrection love and hope.

What might some of those signs be? Perhaps generous love that emerges in an unexpected way. Relationships that offer kindness, understanding, patience, and acceptance. Rising from anger, resentment, and pain to healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The list is endless.

Happy Easter, beloved; Christ our Lord is risen. Christ is risen indeed, and so shall we!

Pastor Cathy