Easter III–April 21, 2012

Tomorrow will be the third Sunday of Eastertide. And I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since Easter morning. Our Easter worship service was, in a word, joyful! But whose isn’t. I mean, how can you not be joyful on Easter?

The celebration started very early on Good Harbor Beach, with a sunrise service around 6:00 a.m. This is an ecumenical service, attended by particpants from several congregations, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans, Unitarian Universalists, and a couple of the non-denominational churches in our area. This year, some folks from the Buddhist community showed up, too, so it was interfaith, as well. All told we were about 60 people. Though the morning was cloudy, the gray skies lit up with long shafts of beautiful gold and soft red tints when sun rose. And the Methodist pastor, Rev. Lehlohonolo Montjane’s homily energized all of us to spread the good news: she urged us to “run with those women,” as they left Jesus’ tomb, to go out into our lives, running, and live the faith.

Later at church, the energy stayed high; lots of people came to worship, and prayed and sang their hearts out. Our band, The St. Paul Pick-up Band– played for the first time, during the final hymn. Our guest musician, tuba-player Mike Milnarek played compositions written by his wife for our church accompanied by Ted Stoddard, our music director, on the piano and the organ, and their Bach duet at the post-lude kept us all listening. Every note spoke of joy, and everyone there, it seemed, felt the wonder and excitement that comes with Easter morning.

Since then, we’ve managed to stay in Easter, a counter-cultural stance, for sure. And each week, the mystery that is the resurrection unfolds, into deeper mystery, and more profound wonder. Tomorrow is Emmaus, my favorite story, and we’ll tell it from start to finish. It’s also Earth Day, and we asked the Sunday School children to write a prayer for the planet, which they’ll offer during the serivce.
May the Risen Christ meet you on the road, along the highways and byways of your life, this week.
peace, Pastor Anne

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