An Easter Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches
“I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you to bear now. However, when the Spirit of truth comes it will lead to the complete truth, since it will not be speaking of its own accord, but will say only what it has been told; and it will reveal to you the things to come….Until now you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.” (John 16:7-16)
In just one week we will be celebrating Easter Sunday. On Sunday, April 4, at 6:59 a.m. as the sun rises over the rolling farmlands of Wainfleet, we normally gather at 7:00 a.m. for a Son Rise Worship Service, followed by an Easter morning breakfast with lively conversation and immense joy as we celebrate our risen Lord and Savior.
Because my history in the United Church of Canada is long, on Easter Sunday I also remember back to other Faith Communities where I have worshiped, or served, and remember how we gathered either down by the river, or in the back yard of the Church, with a bonfire burning brightly on Easter Sunday morning. The flames would always warm our hands, and our souls, as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
The resurrection happened – and on Easter Sunday morning we will celebrate the new life, and immense joy, we have been given through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
To arrive at Easter Sunday, we will have journeyed through Lent with spiritual challenges that have often been painful, difficult, and uncertain, until we have reached that place of transformation, liberation, and immense joy in Jesus, the Christ. This is not to say that the journey is at an end. Instead, it is to say there is a new beginning.
This new beginning is nurtured in a spirituality of joyfulness. One way I’ve found to nurture a spirituality of joyfulness is by remembrance. Each day before closing my eyes for sleep, I look back over the day that is ending. No matter how troublesome the day has been, I recover my joy by asking: “What is one thing in this day for which I am thankful?”
There is always something that can bring me joy. Maybe I managed to get through the day without difficult challenges. Maybe it was a kind word, a comforting thought, a little hug, an unexpected bird singing, or watching and listening to the waters of Lake Erie. I never let a day go by without glimpsing a touch of joy in it, and thanking God with gladness.
There is a new beginning in every person who turns again to Christ, in every community where healing may begin because of the courage of those who share their understanding of Christ’s message; a new beginning as the world begins to embrace the truths the elders have taught about the integrity of creation. The visioning of the future is rooted in this wisdom. It is not only a truth to assist us individually, and in local communities, it is a vision which the world as a global village must embrace in order to build a new world.
May you and your family experience the magnificent joy of the Risen Christ this Easter Season! Jesus Christ is risen, indeed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!