Today is Easter Sunday, the Christian tradition’s celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Churches all over the world proclaim “Alleluia, He is risen!” This day, more than any other, is the cornerstone of faith for many…the very existence of Easter speaks to the human soul’s experience of surprise, of amazement, of miracle–and of new life. The gospel of Matthew tells of Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” going early in the morning to visit the tomb where Jesus was buried. They found that Jesus’ body was not there. We read that an angel appeared and told them “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here…” As the women run to tell their friends, they meet Jesus, who also tells them “Do not be afraid…”
Some days ago, I attended a workshop at the Quaker retreat center Pendle Hill (www.pendlehill.org) that was led by Carrie Newcomer (www.carrienewcomer.com) and Faith Hawkins. The workshop focused on the practice of Midrash, or asking questions of sacred texts. As our gathered community broke open holy writings and shared questions and retold sacred stories, we saw how holiness appears when we bear witness to each other’s lives, to each other’s stories, to each other’s sorrows and joys and hopes and dreams. We talked about how the act of witnessing, hearing, seeing each other brought awareness of the holiness that is all around us all the time. I left Pendle Hill with a heart filled with yearning to carry the holy, to share the sacred.
Apparent Grace is standing before us on this Easter day. The Holy Is. The paradox of Easter is that we are invited to “see” not only what “is”, but today what “is not.” We see holiness and we see absence of death; we see resurrection and we run to tell those we love.
Our world is filled with those who are waiting for hope, waiting for healing, waiting to be seen and heard into holiness. When we proclaim “Alleluia” today, let us remember to carry Grace within our hearts to the world in which we live. Let us dare to be fearless and to tell others “Do not be afraid…” Let us proclaim new life, in our own hearts and to others…may we live and breathe this day and all our days in the knowledge of our holy connectedness, to each other and to Spirit and to life itself.
Happy Easter…may you know joy and peace in this holy time of new life!