Tag Archives: Church

This pandemic likes to remind us it isn’t over – Pastor Thoughts

After a couple of weeks away on holidays, it is good to be back – well, sort of.

As some of you may know, our family ventured west for the first time since June 2019. It had been nearly 3 years since our family had made our pilgrimage to see extended family across the prairies. It was incredible to see just show much our kids loved seeing various relatives. they marvelled at all the people they were related to. At 8 and 5, I think they felt like they were meeting many folks for the first time.

The purpose of our trip a this time of year was to attend an important family funeral, but the opportunity to see family was something we all needed after 3 years of staying home.

After two weeks of visits, of recreating missed birthdays, family dinners and just spending time together, our hearts were full of something we had been desperately missing. It almost felt normal at times, being around people we love and have missed so much.

Finally, close to the end of the second week, we began the long drive home.

In the weeks before we set out on this holiday, in the midst of Holy Week and Easter, I did my best to keep up on the pandemic situation. I knew that COVID was spreading widely, but seeing family, particularly because of this family funeral, was important at this point.

In the middle part of the second week, we began feeling some symptoms: Runny noses, coughs, plugged ears. While there were stories of COVID cases all around us, we initially attributed it to seasonal and pet allergies (so many dogs and cats!). But still we took rapid tests, we were always wearing masks in public, and compared to a normal whirlwind family tour, we reduced contacts and limited household visits substantially.

Still, we were feeling pretty crummy as we came home. Before going out into the world once home, we decided to rapid test again.

And after a week of symptoms, our tests finally showed two lines.

We were positive for COVID-19.

The thing that we had been working so hard to avoid for over 2 years had finally made its way into our house all the way from across the country.

We let our family and anyone who visited us know.

For us, it has been very hard to be so far from family during this pandemic. But I also know it may have been one of the things that has kept us safe from infection. If we lived closer to family, I am sure we would have been gathering and visiting when the public health orders allowed. I am sure our contacts would have gone way up.

And looking back it is easy to see why we were infected with COVID-19. In two weeks we were in more homes, and spending more time with people unmasked and close contact than we have in the two years previous. We thought we were careful enough, but every visit was a risk.

It is a reminder of just where this pandemic has hit us hardest. It speaks to why we are all so beaten down and struggling. COVID-19 has robbed us of the most important activities that help us stay healthy and grounded. Gathering together with the family and friends who are most important to us. Two years of FaceTime and Zoom calls every other day was nothing like just once sitting around the dinner table with those that we love.

The pandemic is far from over. We continue to balance finding ways to connect with and be close to those people who are most important to us – family, friends, neighbours or siblings in Christ – with staying safe, preventing illness and disease.

And I cannot help but come to the realization this is our new world. The realities that we are struggling with today are not going anywhere anytime soon, and so we continue to struggle together. We continue to follow God’s call together. We continue to adapt and change and seek out ways to be community, to care for each other and to walk together in faith.

So far COVID-19 has been like a bad head cold for us… and hopefully I will start testing negative soon and be able to re-join our local community not long after that.

Walking to Emmaus and re-learning the story faith

GOSPEL: Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day [when Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene,] two [disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad….

Everything about the Easter Sunday story suggests that it should wrap up the story of Holy Week. All the way back from when we shift from Christmas and Epiphany telling the story of Jesus’ birth, to the Baptism of Our Lord Sunday on which Jesus is set on the path of his ministry of the Kingdom. From that moment on as we journey through Lent, the climax of Good Friday is in the background. Lent is not a 40 day long Good Friday, but there is a narrative arc that we recognize. Like an epic movie everything along the way serves to hurdle us to the big confrontation moment on Golgatha beneath the cross of Jesus. 

The empty tomb should be like the hero emerging from the wreckage, the moment of celebration that brings the story to a close. 

Except it isn’t. 

The Easter morning stories are full of confusion and uncertainty and more questions than answers. The resurrect Christ doesn’t spawn a “hero escapes death so don’t ask too many questions just be happy” moment, but instead a whole new wrinkle to a story that supposed to be wrapping up. 

And here we are on the 2nd Sunday of Easter still unpacking just what on earth is going on. 

It seems that the story of Jesus is less like an epic movie and more like a serialized TV season that ends on a cliffhanger, and today we starting season 2. 

We pick up the story right after Peter has gone to verify the unbelievable story of the women last week. Two disciples are on their way to Emmaus, a town near to Jerusalem. 

On the way, these two are met by another traveller. This travelling companion incredibly seems to know nothing about what has just happened over the past week in Jerusalem. Yet when the disciples recount the story from trial and crucifixion to the morning reports of the empty tomb from the unreliable women.

To which the unknown travelling companion proceeds to explain to them how the events of holy week fit into the Scriptures. And still these two disciples don’t recognize that the one travelling with them is Jesus. 

It seems a bit absurd that these two wouldn’t be to recognize their teacher and master. Was Jesus wearing a disguise? Were they blinded by their grief? Did God close their eyes to seeing?

I think there might be another explanation, one that relates to us and this moment in time. 

2000 years on from the first Easter we are stilling figuring out how this story unfolds and works together, let alone those first disciples who had just lived through it. Stories are how we understand this world. Stories and narrative help us construct meaning. Stories are the vehicles for us to make sense of things. It is why we go back a rehearse in our mind the events of an experience that we cannot make sense of, it is why we rely on eye witness testimony so heavily, it is why we are enraptured by good movies, books, tv shows, songs, artwork or a good story teller. 

So these two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Jesus because they didn’t understand the story of Holy Week yet, they couldn’t see Jesus because they didn’t know or understand the story of how he could be walking with them. 

Throughout our journey we too are sorting out just what all we have lived through means for us. As pandemic waves rise and recede with different degrees and risk to our health…

As War in Ukraine and elsewhere stretches out into a longer and more horrific than we every imagined reality…

As we navigate global, national and local uncertainty from the price of milk to the dangers of gas ranges to ongoing and persistent weather and climate crisis… 

As we ponder and wonder and worry about the future of our local communities here, even here at Sherwood Park…

We too do not know the ending of our story. We don’t know how to piece it all together yet and there is no precedent, no version that we have heard before that will provide the guidance we so desperately want. 

And so seeing Jesus among us is just as difficult. Even as he walks with us along our paths we may be just as oblivious as those two disciples. 

Just as Easter wasn’t the end of the story but the next season or next chapter, our story is nowhere near ending…but instead how it will all shake remains to be seen and lived. 

So when Jesus join his disciples on their walk down the road to Emmaus, they have more questions than answers. But rather than just coming out with who he is, Jesus takes the disciples back to the beginning, back to the stories they do know. The stories of God’s people. To the scriptures, the stories of faith. Stories told to children from the moment they are born. Stories told in homes and in the synagogue, stories that help to mark the passage of the days and the years, stories that gave frames of meaning, symbols, images and metaphors that helped them to understand their lives and their world. 

And just as the prophets foretold the coming of Messiah, just as John the Baptist preached out the wilderness, just as Jesus himself preached in the towns and countryside while doing miracles, Jesus begins with the stories they know already. And then Jesus interprets the stories in light of the promised Messiah. 

Yet, still the disciples don’t recognize Jesus. 

So finally when they reach Emmaus, Jesus takes the disciples back to Maundy Thursday. To the breaking and blessing of bread, where Jesus had been revealed to his disciples anew in the ancient familiar meal of faith – the passover meal.  

And all of sudden, these two disciples have a story to tell. They have seen this moment before. They have seen this One breaking the bread before. They know this stranger, they recognize the Christ. The Christ who has come to give them a new story of faith to tell. A story that begins at the Last Supper, that descends to arrest, trial and crucifixion and seemingly ends on cross. But now a story that continues on the Third Day with empty tombs, appearances behind locked doors, and revelations in the breaking of bread. 

Jesus has tied all the events of the last week to their familiar stories of faith, and Jesus has given these disciples a new story to tell, a story that makes sense and meaning of crucifixion, death, resurrection and new life. Jesus brings together the ancient stories of faith to the story of the crucified and risen Messiah.

The story of faith that we have been telling for 2000 years since: Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again. 

The story that Jesus is taking us back to in this moment, even in the midst of our crisis, our inability to make sense of things and to understand this moment. 

The story of faith that is grafted onto our bones from the moment we are born and then reborn in baptism. The story that is told in homes and at church. The story that helps us mark the passage of days and years. The story that gives us the frames of meaning, symbols, images, and metaphors that help us understand our world. 

And Jesus reminds us that this story of faith has room for us and our recent string of uncertainty and struggle. We might not have been here before, but the Christ who meets us on this journey has. 

Jesus walks along side us in our confusion and uncertainty, reminding us that our familiar stories of faith still have room for our unknown stories of our present. And Jesus promises to see us through, to see us all the way to the new reality that awaits us in this new world of ours. Jesus promises that even this world of frequent tumult and regular uncertainty is nothing new or out of the ordinary for God.

And from here, Jesus takes us back to our beginnings, to the familiar story of breaking bread that we know so well. And in this moment, in this story Jesus is present and known to us, even when we don’t fully understand what is happening and where we are going. 

And so as we search for our story to tell, for the story that will tell us how to live in this new upside down world, Jesus reminds that there is a story that we already know. It begins with the breaking of bread, and continues through suffering and death, but surprises us again and again with an empty tomb, new life and a risen Christ. 

Practicing faith over our days, weeks, seasons and years – Pastor Thoughts

This week I am bending the rules of worship and preaching ever so slightly. I am switching the gospel lesson that we normally hear on the 2nd Sunday of Easter for a different story. Instead of the story of Thomas, we will hear the Road to Emmaus – the gospel appointed for Easter Sunday Evening and the story that comes immediately after the resurrection gospel from Luke that we heard last Sunday.

I am sure you are thinking to yourself that Pastor Erik is quite the liturgical rebel… that is if you haven’t fallen asleep reading already.

Pastors often gravitate towards particular areas of ministry more than others. Some are excellent counsellors and caregivers. Others have the gift of the gab and work a room like a politician. Others are great organizers and administrators. Still others are great with seniors or youth or families or 12 step groups or other kinds of program ministry or small groups.

One of my retired predecessors revealed one of his gifts after I asked him to preach at the 60th anniversary of the congregation I was serving at the time. For the first 5 minutes of the sermon he had the congregation in stitches – clearly one of his gifts was stand-up comedy!

Anyway, I am sure you have surmised by that worship/liturgy and preaching are a couple of the areas of pastoral ministry I am quite passionate about.

When I first arrived at Sherwood Park, a change that I made right off the bat was to switch us from the Narrative Lectionary (NL) back to the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). The Lectionary is the schedule of appointed readings that we hear in church each Sunday.

The RCL includes the First Reading from the stories of God’s people, a Psalm from the hymnbook of Israel, the Second Reading from the letters of encouragement and exhortation of the early church and a Gospel reading from the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry.

The NL was created as a response to a sense that the RCL included too many readings and that people in the pews were unfamiliar with the bible, and so the NL is usually based on one longer reading and makes it way through different books of the bible chronologically to encourage Biblical literacy.

While there is lots to debate regarding the merits of either lectionary, the RCL is designed to fit and serve the liturgical calendar whereas the NL is more suited to bible study. So if your worship is crafted around the liturgical or church year, then the RCL will serve worship better. But if worship is more about teaching and educating folks in the faith, the NL is a good alternative.

Again, you can probably see where my sensibilities lie.

Worship and therefore preaching are meant to help us walk through the story of Jesus’ life and ministry that we tell throughout the church year. Beginning in Advent and until Pentecost we hear the story of Jesus’ life. And then after Pentecost until Christ the King Sunday we hear about Jesus’ teaching and ministry.

So going all the way back to where I started… it might not seem like a big deal to change the gospel reading on a particular Sunday, but for me it is. While the RCL is technically only about 40 years old, it is based on the lectionaries and traditions of Christian worship that go back almost 2000 years (and even beyond into the Jewish tradition). The church year and stories appointed to Sundays and Feast Days have been used by Christians throughout the centuries to help tell and re-tell the content of our faith. In particular to pass on the faith to the next generation.

As we hear these stories year after year, and start to learn them by heart, like:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Caesar Augustus…

This my Son My Beloved…

Jesus was led in the wilderness by the Spirit…”

There they crucified him, and with him two others..”

Early on the first day of the week

We can start to bring these stories home, we can start telling them not just at church but in our family gatherings and holiday (Holy-Day) traditions. The biblical stories that accompany our days and years graft themselves into our lives this way, even if we don’t know exactly where to find them in the bible (Pastors and google can always help with that).

It isn’t an accident that the Gospel lesson I am borrowing from Easter Evening is the Road to Emmaus. Emmaus is a microcosm of our life of faith.

The disciples meet Jesus on the road, he opens their hearts and minds to the word, Jesus is revealed in the breaking of the bread and then he sends them out with a story to tell the world. Gathering-Word-Meal-Sending.

The way we worship, the way we observe our days, weeks, seasons and years, and the stories we tell along the way all serve to help faith grow in us. And as these things begin to take root in us they become central in our lives. The stories of faith help us understand ourselves and God’s purposes for this world. They connect us to all the faithful who have gone before us, all the faithful on the journey with us and to those who will follow after us.

And like those disciples on road, we are not left to sort it all out on our own, rather God meets us again and again in Gathering-Word-Meal-Sending. Week after week, season after season, year after year. And God brings us into God’s story; one told by peoples and communities from time immemorial and around the globe.

A story given to us on the road and journey of faith.

Who Gets to Tell the Easter Story?

Luke 24:1-12
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

We have arrived. Through this long season of Lent, through the challenges of Holy Week. We have arrived at the day of the resurrection, the empty tomb and promise of a new creation. 

And yet there is some discomfort. This isn’t like Advent that builds to the birth followed by a couple of weeks of holidays over Christmas. Easter morning brings a lot of discomfort. If Maundy Thursday was the funeral lunch, and Good Friday the burial. Today is the moment of wondering, “Okay, now what?”

But it is more than just not knowing what comes next. It is more than sorting through all that has taken place. It is wondering about how this story will be told? Who will tell it? Who gets to tell it?

We can see already, that the question of who gets to tell the Easter story was there on the first morning. The disciples didn’t believe the first reports, they had to verify. 

And some 2000 Easters later, the question remain. Who will this Easter story? Who gets to tell it? Who should tell it? Questions that add some unexpected discomfort to our Easter experience. In a world of Pandemic, Protests, Inequality, Racism and Colonialism, War, Violence and death… who tells this Easter story is still a question we have NOT truly answered. 

Being uncomfortable with this story and who gets to preach it is not something new. In fact, Luke tells us that discomfort with the resurrection story and the ones telling it is as old as the story itself. 

Three women have gone to the tomb early Sunday morning. It was only on Friday, three days ago that they watched Jesus die on the cross. And because of the sabbath (Saturday), his body hadn’t been properly prepared for burial. They were on their way to do this last thing, one final act of love for Jesus. 

But they arrive at the tomb, and the stone is rolled away. Jesus’ body is gone. Luke says the women were perplexed, but that hardly seems to describe what these women were probably feeling. 

And then a couple of guys in dazzling white clothes show up and tell these “perplexed” women that Jesus has been raised from the dead. 

This isn’t an “Aha” moment. This is more of a “Holy (you fill in the blank)” moment. 

And in that “holy” moment the women are snapped from their grief, their perplexity, their terror and are reminded of what Jesus had been telling them the whole time. 

And they go racing back to tell the other disciples. 

And it is at this point that Luke really starts to get interesting. 

The women go back to tell their news to the “male” disciples. But the men think it is nonsense. Now what the english translation says is that the men think it is an “idle tale.” You know, the kind of inane chit chat of no importance that men think they can just tune out because it’s the womenfolk talking. But that is not what the greek says. The greek says the men hear the story as nonsense or crazy or nuts. The kind of story you hear someone tell and you respond by saying, “No way, that’s not possible, that didn’t happen.”

And then the english translation says the men didn’t believe the women, as if the men actually took the time to consider the content of their story. But the greek says the men didn’t trust the women. The story wasn’t believable because of who was telling it. The men didn’t bother listening to the story right from the beginning.

And then there is the last bit about Peter. Peter runs off to check the tomb for himself. Why would he do that if he didn’t trust the women enough to listen to their idle chit chat in the first place? Well, in most bibles there is a little footnote that comes at the end of this verse about Peter’s “checking on things” at the tomb.

The footnote that explains that verse 12 (this whole bit about Peter verifying what the women had reported) is not included in other ancient manuscripts. Or in other words, the verse is likely an addition to the story. 

So here we have this story of the resurrection that is hard enough to make sense of on its own but the real problem with this story seems to be not with the story itself, but with the people who have been chosen to tell it. The disciples think the women’s story is nonsense because they are untrustworthy women. Recent English translators, who still have a problem with the fact that women are the first ones to tell the story, try to turn the nonsensical report into an idle tale – something not even worth being listened to at all by the men. 

And to top it off, the early christian community added this bit about Peter verifying what the women reported so that somebody credible would be the one telling the story of the resurrection. Because Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Jesus’ own mother Mary weren’t credible witnesses on their own because they were women.

Oh, how things haven’t changed.

As hard as it is to makes sense of somebody being raised from the dead, our real problem is still with who gets to tell the story. 

Christians have spent a lot of time and energy in the past 2000 years telling people who can and who cannot tell the story of Jesus. And it’s not just women. Christians at various times have told people of colour, LGBT people, poor people, uneducated people, and even lay people that they are not among God’s chosen story tellers. 

For some reason our issue has been less with the content of the resurrection story itself than the character of the ones chosen to tell it. 

Because it is hard to believe that of all the people to find the empty tomb, God sends the very people who were considered untrustworthy and unreliable as witnesses. 

How would this story have been different if the disciples simply trusted the women?

When the women arrive at the tomb, early on that Sunday morning they were expecting to find the body of Jesus. Mary’s son, Mary Magdalene’s and Joanna’s friend and teacher. They expected to be anointing a body with spices and oils. They were expecting to finish the Jesus story for good, one last goodbye to the one they loved. 

They most certainly did not expect that all that crazy talk that Jesus had been going on about for 3 years to be true. Betrayal, trial, crucifixion… and now resurrection. They did not expect to find the living among the dead, they did not expect that Jesus had been raised. 

They didn’t yet understand just what Jesus’ death and resurrection had accomplished. They did not know yet that the Risen Christ overturns and undoes the established orders of the world. The first order of which is the established order of death. The Risen Christ upends the order of death and replaces it with a new order, a new system, a new way – Resurrection and New Life. 

But Jesus doesn’t stop there. The Risen Christ also overturns the established order of power and privilege. It cannot be understated just how significant it is that the first witnesses (and therefore preachers) of the resurrection are those without power, those on the margins, those whose testimony is discounted before it is even given because they cannot be considered “trustworthy” by decent and proper folks.

When these women are met with news of the resurrection, they would not have expected that of all the disciples that they would be the ones called upon to deliver this news – Jesus has risen. They weren’t the leaders, the gifted ones, the talented ones, the respected ones. They weren’t even considered trustworthy by the disciples who knew them well. They were just women. They were forgotten, unimportant, unworthy. They were not the kind of people anybody would expect to be called upon to carry out such an important task. They were the wrong people. 

But for the Risen Christ, they were the right people. Because the God of New Life has turned the world upside down. Death is now Life. The Powerful are now the powerless. The weak and lowly are lifted up. And the wrong people to deliver this news, the wrong people like those women… for God, they are exactly the right people. 

The Risen Christ completely changes our world and our reality, Christ’s death and resurrection turns everything and everyone upside down. All the old orders, all the ways in which we told others and in which we were told we aren’t good enough – those orders, those ways are ended. And the Risen Christ says the good news of new life is for not just for the right people, not just for the wrong people. The Good News is for all. Resurrection and New Life is for us. 

And maybe that is crazy nonsense in a world like ours. 

But it is not crazy nonsense for God. 

Easter Expectations vs Easter Reality – Pastor Thoughts

Unbelievably, this is our 3rd pandemic Easter. Remember back in 2020 at the beginning of all of this when we thought that we might celebrate Easter together but just a few weeks late?

Now we have done a whole lectionary cycle of Matthew, Mark and Luke, all shedding new light on this world we are living in. And I will be honest, there is no small measure of disappointment that I am carrying this year. Not in anything in particular, but more generally a sense of loss at how much of a struggle and slog it is to navigate something that should be a grand celebration.

As a pastor, I have learned to temper my expectations about many things. I have learned that every congregation I serve has its own little quirks and idiosyncrasies that I just need to accept. I have learned that making changes to Christmas traditions, like when we sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve, may as well come with my resignation letter. I know that pulling that beloved picture of Jesus off the wall of the church basement might result in a special congregational meeting.

But I have also learned that there are other places where there are all kinds of freedom to shape and create as I see fit: Holy Week and Easter being one of them. The breadth of traditions from between Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday often carry with them the sense that these things ought to be done in the ways that Christians have been doing them for centuries. Sure there are particular traditions here and there, but often congregations have been very open to Holy Week and Easter ideas.

For example:

On Palm Sunday there is a palm procession, even though it is a bit awkward. And if we can awkwardly do that with a neighbouring congregation, even better!

Maundy Thursday it is often an opportunity to gather around the table and delve into the richness of the Lord’s supper…  and maybe even try foot washing!

On Good Friday there is often a procession the cross, long expansive prayers, long solemn psalm chants or the solemn reproaches and sometimes even the chance to reverence the cross. 

And for the really adventurous, Holy Saturday might include the Easter Vigil with its gathering around the New Fire, its 12 readings and 12 psalms and then a whole communion service to conclude!

And of course on Easter Sunday people have gathered early for Sunrise services, cooked Easter breakfast, shouted “alleluia” on command, dance in the aisles  and more.

And the thing about many of these traditions (unlike Silent Night which was written because one congregation’s organ broke on Christmas Eve and so the organist wrote a carol for guitar) is that they are rooted in scripture or in the ancient practices of the early church.

Which brings me back to my disappointment. I wish the past 3 Holy Weeks and Easters were more about all that other stuff I listed above than about pandemic and snow storms. I wish our biggest concern had been about how to gather and tell the Passion and Resurrection stories again and anew in our community… and not whether it was even safe to gather in-person.

And then I hear the Easter gospel anew.

Particularly Luke’s Easter story. One of my personal heresies about Luke is that I think the writer of the gospel was actually a woman.  Luke has a particular insight into those who occupied the bottom of social ranks, those who lived on the margins. The way Luke tells the story of Mary (rather than Matthew who tells Joseph’s story) as she receives the news that she will bear God’s child. Rather than Matthew’s spiritualized beatitudes, Luke’s beatitudes focus on physical needs: Blessed are the poor, the hungry, the thirsty. Luke tells the story of the Prodigal Son (Loving Father) and the Good Samaritan.

And Luke’s resurrection story is messy and chaotic. Matthew has Jesus meet the women. Mark has the women run away in fear. John has Jesus meet Matthew and then Thomas and then the disciples several times.

But the women only see the empty tomb and then rush back to the disciples only to be disbelieved.

It makes sense. All along the way, Luke tells the stories of people who are struggling, who don’t have it together, who make mistakes, who are victims of life, who are often overlooked by the powerful.

And Luke’s Easter is no different. It is messy and real and still connected to the real problems of our world. Just as Jesus has been throughout.

And maybe that is the reminder that we need, that I need. An Easter where our only concern is how nice we can make our Holy Week experience is a blessing. But Easter that comes to us with all the messy and hard parts of life, with all the struggles and failures and suffering that are a part of things right now… Well that is how the first Easter was. And why we need Easter in the first place.

So despite all the things Holy Week and Easter won’t be this year, and all the things I wish it could be….

Easter and the Risen Christ will be all that we need.