Dear St. James and All Saints’ Communities,
“And so it begins.” These words were spoken to me several times as our Services for The Fifth Sunday in Lent concluded and Holy Week was now upon us. These words have a different meaning perhaps, than they would have had three years ago. I was pleasantly surprised with the memories these words evoked and where they led me.
My Easter Messages over the past two years were sent to a shuttered Church. This year we return to our Church homes for our most holy time of year. We will be able to take in the sights and sounds as we once more participate in-person, in the liturgies of the week, liturgies that make us tremble and that make us sing out with joy. Most especially, I thought at first, we will once again be able to walk this journey of Holy Week and Easter together. And so it begins. However in the speaking and hearing of these words, I was refreshingly reminded that one thing we never lost over the last two years, was walking this holy time, this holy week, Easter Sunday, together.
One of my fondest memories from the last two years was when members form both of our communities gathered on Zoom and recorded the reading of the Passion in parts for Palm Sunday. We incorporated the reading into the Service and thereby those who participated in the reading, those watching through Zoom, were able to gather and begin the Holy Week journey together. We were not able to gather because of Zoom or even because of technology, we were able to gather because we are a community. We were able to gather because we are members of the Body of Christ, who calls us together to walk the path of His life and His death and His Resurrection. This path may have been different the last two years but it was still there and still led to togetherness and life even in the dark shadow of pandemic.
In our gatherings this year, let us celebrate being back in our Churches. Let us enjoy the sights and sounds and feel as we walk a perhaps more traditional path than the last two years, leading to the Cross of Good Friday and the light of Easter Day. And let us remember as Easter comes once more, we proclaim this year just as we did in 2020 and 2021 and every year and every day of our lives, the verse that rings throughout our world and into eternity. It is a verse that transcends all, including as we have seen, pandemic. It is a verse that cannot be overcome for it comes from the Light that cannot be overcome. Let us join together again this year and raise our voices in blessed unity as we proclaim:
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
I look forward to greeting you at our Churches as we celebrate The Resurrection together. A Blessed Eastertide to you and to all whom you love.
Yours In Christ,