Happy Easter! Yes, it is still Easter and there is plenty of time to celebrate the new life that is emerging all around. Perhaps you’ve experienced resurrection in your life, noticed it in someone else’s, or you’ve been watching the reluctant sprouting of spring. Have you taken a moment to give thanks?
It’s also possible that Easter seems out of reach this year. As Erika and I drove to and from New Orleans, I was unsettled by the number of fear-based churches. The signs and billboards on the highways that declared Jesus’ saving powers and the urgency of the need for salvation were abundant. These were interspersed with signs against women’s reproductive rights. I have no doubt that anti-queer and anti-trans preaching pervades these churches as well.
So much fear! Fear in our churches and fear in our streets. Fear that easily slides into hatred and violence. Fear that allows a man to shoot a boy for ringing the wrong doorbell. Fear that allows another man to shoot cheerleaders for getting into the wrong car. Fear that keeps us divided one from another. Fear that keeps us from experiencing the full power of Resurrection.
Religions that teach fear and hatred are not bringing Divine Love into the world. We do not need to fear God for any reason. God’s love is unconditional. We are saved from ourselves and our need to be better than everyone else when we accept God’s love for the whole of Creation, including our own selves. There is no need to pass judgment on another human being for who they are. God doesn’t. We shouldn’t.
Yes, the world is a scary place. People whose lives are defined by fear can also be scary. We don’t need to take foolish risks, yet we do need to take some risks. How can we be a community of Love such that all who visit experience Resurrection, or at least get a glimpse of it? How can we not participate in the fear that is pervasive?
We can reject the fear and violence of the world around us and respond with Love and mercy. Of course we will not always be successful. There will be times when we are also overwhelmed and give into fear. However, there is grace and forgiveness, and the Spirit urging us to continue in our efforts to bring Love into the world.
Take a few minutes this week to breathe deeply and notice the evidence of resurrection all around. Breathe deeply and give thanks. Breathe deeply and let go of a little bit of fear. Breathe deeply and know that you are loved. Breathe deeply and know that you are not alone. Breathe deeply.
Unless otherwise specified, all content on this site is copyrighted by the author, when designated, or by Living Table United Church of Christ. This means that you cannot copy-and-paste content from this website to reuse it elsewhere without express written permission. Brief excerpts up to 30 total words may be quoted with citation and a link back to this exact URL. All images are copyrighted and may not be used elsewhere. With any questions, please contact us. You can still share everything from this site by sharing a link to the exact page of interest. What is prohibited by this policy and standard U.S. copyright law is reusing or republishing our content without permission.