One of my meditations this week included an excerpt written by Henri Nouwen:
The cross is the main symbol of our faith, and it invites us to find hope where we see pain and to reaffirm the resurrection where we see death. The call to be grateful is a call to trust that every moment of our life can be claimed as the way of the cross that leads to new life. Can we be grateful for everything that has happened in our life – not just the good things but for all that has brought us to today?…In the world’s eyes, there is an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they are never separated. Our ministry is to help people gradually let go of their resentment and discover that right in the middle of suffering there is blessing. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the Kingdom of God.
The Easter season, which began last Sunday and lasts until Pentecost (May 31st), invites us to ask ourselves whether we believe these statements and questions or not. We’ll have to be especially reflective this year as we journey through the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are hopeful signs all around.
I am grateful for the incredibly faithful, inspiring, and creative ways that each person on our staff has risen to this new thing.
I am grateful for members and friends whose beautifully written Lenten reflections about prayer stirred my heart every morning; those who have made the shift to grab-and-go lunches with SCLP, those who serve by leading small groups and keeping people connected, and those who continue to give of their finances so that expenses and ministries can be sustained in this most needed time.
I am grateful for the many check-ins, kind words of encouragement, gratitude, and support given and received.
I am also grateful for the ways you are taking care of yourselves, adhering to the guidelines, and figuring things out.
We are a strong community, and we are being raised to new life every day. Easter has only just begun. Thanks be to God.
Grace and peace,