The Pastor's Peace - May, 2011
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This Lent brought many challenges for all of us. Some of us worried about jobs. Many of us dealt with personal illnesses, or with surgeries and care for those we love. There were several friends and family who passed away, including members of this church. We held three funerals here at Beaver Church during Lent, with two of them taking place during Holy Week. As I thought about those we have lost, I also thought about how appropriate Lent and Holy Week are for funerals. This period in the church calendar is the time when we come to terms with darkness and death. In reality there were not three but four funerals in Lent, including that of Jesus. It is a funeral that we relive ever year, as we discuss his death and burial. At our Maundy Thursday service we end by extinguishing candles and leaving in silence, a symbolic act acknowledging the despair and anguish of the moment of Christ’s death. This is what makes the miracle of the resurrection and the beauty of Easter so magnificent. This is what makes our faith in the face of any death miraculous.

As we celebrated those who had passed during our Lenten funerals here at Beaver church, there was something of Christ’s light breaking through during each service. Even though we had lost those who were close, there was a sense that they were not truly lost; they were still with us, still in God’s care, still in our lives, just not in their
prior form. What a miracle that is to have a faith and to feel it. I know that when I talked to several of the family members and friends, their faith was concrete about this subject, despite what can be proved or observed by the naked eye. As the risen Christ tells Thomas,” Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). This is the beauty of the Easter season that we are in now. It is that faith in the resurrection, that faith that we have not seen the whole story of existence. With such an understanding we can weather any storm, move beyond any darkness, and no one, no power on earth, can separate us from God and what God has planned for us. What good news indeed!

Now that we are in the season of Easter, let us not forget the true miracle. It is not just our salvation, which is good, it is not just the fact that Christ lives, which is good, not just the fact that we have a loving God, which is good; it is the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing, not even death can separate us from our God. This is a bond that through Christ is never broken. It is why we sing halleluiah, it is why we can watch our loved ones pass and still see a dawn beyond the night. We have walked together yet again through the darkness of Lent. Please join again in the dazzling beauty of Easter, carrying that triumphal message throughout our lives and to the entire world before us.

Peace and Happy Easter,
Pastor Brian