The Pastor's Peace - April, 2010
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As we celebrate Easter we do not have to look far for examples of darkness turning to light, life coming from death. In fact, all we need to do is look outside. How wonderful it has been to see Spring blossom around us. The days are getting longer, the weather warmer, heating bills lower, and soon we will be having barbecues and potlucks outside. For some this will be reason enough to smile come Easter morning, but for many this year there is darkness where light is still desperately needed. Our lives are not as predictable as nature, and some wonder when a new dawn will appear. So many hard things have occurred both in our little church, and in the larger community as a whole, everything from lost jobs to grieving over those who have passed away. Some have faced depression, some anger, some nervousness about the future.

During such times it might be difficult to truly celebrate Easter, to sing your hallelujahs and songs of praise to God. We celebrate Christ's resurrection, but some still long for a resurrection in their own life. For many in our society it has been a very long season of Good Fridays. I look around and see those waiting for their loved ones to return from war, and for the many millions unemployed and under employed who wait for the opportunity to work again. For them a big smile and rosy
view of the world might seem a bit hollow come Easter morning. We should not think, however, that this is anything unusual. Holy week is an intersection of the greatest sorrow and greatest joy, and they overlap in many places.

The followers of Jesus watched as their friend, teacher, and savior was brutally murdered in front of their eyes for all to see; I can only imagine how hard it was. They had hoped for a change from their current state of being, a deliverance, and finally they found someone they could believe in, only to have that person and dream stripped away. They would, of course, find great joy in seeing the resurrected Christ, but we should not assume that all their despair was gone. Something as traumatic as the crucifixion is never forgotten. They still were unsure about what the future would hold, and what the new kingdom was to look like. They sang a great hallelujah, but they sang it from a broken place. This is the miracle of Easter, not the great joy of the resurrection, but the great joy of the resurrection in the midst of the great pain of the cross. This Easter feel free to sing a broken hallelujah if you need to. Know that despite the uncertainty and suffering in your life, God still loves you, Jesus suffers beside you, and we in the church will support you.

Pastor Brian