As the three women came to the tomb of Jesus, in the Gospel of Mark, a messenger greets them with the words, “Do not be alarmed, Jesus has been raised from the dead, have hope, you will see him.
Easter 2020 will not be forgotten, lingering in our memory for generations. Easter 2020 is a time of unity and sadness. Minnesotans are unified in a common cause. The people of Minnesota are working together to weather a pandemic storm that will not be over soon. The people of Minnesota are also grieving, grieving the loss of life, physical life, social freedoms and financial security.
Thank you for doing your part in working together to ensure greater health and safety by staying home, honoring safe distancing when you do go out and supporting those who must work providing needed goods and services.
Nativity is doing its part as well by suspending all face to face activities and will continue to do so until our Governor gives the okay to gather again face to face. The Nativity community is also grieving, grieving the loss of the rites and rituals of Holy Week and Easter that give identity to our faith community. We miss gathering for our Maundy Thursday Agape Liturgy bought to life by the choirs of Nativity choirs, the instrumentalists and the participation of communion families. We miss the solemn gathering of Good Friday and worship beneath the large wooden cross draped in black, while candles are extinguished commemorating Jesus’s last hours of life. We are grieving the loss of Easter energy that arises from a worship space adorned with new life, joyful brass and people of all shapes and sizes gathered to proclaim, Christ is Risen.
Easter 2020 will not be forgotten, nor should it be, but not because of what we didn’t have but rather for what we did and what was learned, all of which will become clearer in the months and years ahead. We will look back at this time as a difficult time, but we will also see the many blessings that came to life as a result. The message of Easter is about new life arising from the dust and death of life, a message we really need right now. We will gather face to face again and when we do it will be Easter!
So I invite you to honor your grief, embrace the timeless message of Easter, new life will come, join together online and proclaim, Christ is risen.
Pastor Glenn Seefeldt