"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus."
Dear Lake B Family and Friends,
I admit it seems a little strange to exclaim, “Christ is risen!” in a world that might reply:
“Ha! Merely your religious fantasy!”
“It’s a myth, a hoax, wishful thinking, a tool of social control,
an opiate for the masses.”
Some of you might also be a little shy to respond, “Christ is risen indeed!”
It’s okay. I get it. But indulge me if you will…
If Lent is about Wilderness, then Easter is about Celebration rooted in Hope, because we know that death does not have the final word. We should for sure mark this day, April 4, 2021, because - by the grace of God - we have come through 40 (but seemed more like 365) days of Lent. Consider what we have learned together, and how we have grown together this past year. We don’t have to look far to find life and hope that IS rooted in concrete reality.
I praise and thank God for each of you and for the ways I see LIFE springing up in all of us as we imagine together the Gospel fully alive. Here are a few realities that come to mind when I think of you and our journey together:
I am witness to these expressions of our life together, and they give me hope as I consider our commitment to loving God and loving others. Of course we are not perfect, and that’s not where hope is found anyway. I find hope in the messiness of trying, failing, and sometimes succeeding. I find hope and possibility for newness when we take steps forward; even if we don’t always know where the steps lead, we take the one in front of us.
This is trusting God. This is possibility. It is learning how to trust God who is in our midst when we commit to one another.
“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
In this past year of pandemic I have sensed even more possibility, not less. I believe God is making a way for us through everything – and that includes every loss and wilderness we have encountered or may still be experiencing. Did we imagine that a virus spreading death and havoc around the world might also unleash new life and greater faith, and move us into more community and ministry together? That’s the nature of the Resurrection – bringing life out of death and redeeming things that seemed impossibly broken and evil.
The benediction that I give every week ends with this:
“In the name of the Creator who made us and formed us,
The resurrected Christ who is with us,
And the Holy Spirit who breathes life in us and through us.”
The line about the Holy Spirit always gets me - because it’s happening. She is breathing resurrection life in and through Lake B. And this is how I know “Christ is Risen.”
Take a moment today to notice - and celebrate - where new life is springing up in and around you.
Many blessings to all of you!