Friday E-News | April 5, 2024

by Simon Mainwaring on April 05, 2024

Dear saints,

Happy Easter! I always look forward to being able to share that greeting for the first time. It feels like a release of joy, like "permission granted" to say "alleluia" again. I spent some of last week working on a new The Welcome Table liturgy for Easter season. In it we will sing music from around the world, something we will seek to sprinkle into Sunday mornings too. Let's just say that this particular The Welcome Table service has found plenty of ways to say alleluia in word and song. The secret's out: Jesus lives. Love wins. 

It seems to me important to recognize that people say alleluia - "God be praised"—in all sorts of languages and in all manner of places because it is all too easy to conclude that the world is not a place where love wins. I preached on Easter Day about a "conspiracy of hope," the divine nudge that comes to us when we encounter the Lord of life, especially when we have that encounter at the corner of death and loss.

Our Holy Week speakers this year encouraged us to be people of hope, even as Israeli families long for loved ones to be returned and Palestinians mourn the loss of family and a place to call home. We might turn our attention to the Ukraine, or to Yemen, the Congo and South Sudan and feel the same sense of heartbreak at what we see there. Yet in these places far away, and in our own backyards and daily lives, the calling of the Easter season is to persist in our hopes of a resurrected world.

The world needs your stubborn refusal to give into the conclusion that the sum total of our life together is the way of destruction and death. The God we know in the risen Christ is not only our encouragement to live in the hope that life and love can rise again; that God is also the very ground of that transformation. 

Jesus lives. The grave cannot hold love. I invite you to live that audacious dream this Easter season and proclaim it in word and deed, Alleluia anyhow.


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