Blessings for Eastertide. We bask in the glow of Easter Sunday celebration and experience anew the wonder of the empty tomb and Risen Christ, and God promise of new life. Yet we witnessed on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka and see in so many places each day pain and suffering in the world around us. How do we hold this joy and sorrow in our hearts?
First, may we draw closer to God. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, mother of James and the other women went to anoint Jesus after what must have seemed like a long wait on the Sabbath when they could not go to the tomb. They went to Jesus, offering themselves.
Second, we offer ourselves to do or be what is needed, what God is calling us to do or be. We offer gifts, strengths and weaknesses which are uniquely ours to God’s dream for creation. We join in and hop to it. We celebrate with our apron brigade this year Martha’s Golden Halo in Lent Madness. Martha of Bethany who took care of feeding and all the daily tasks that need to be done won. Martha whose sister Mary “chose the better part” by sitting with Jesus, comes in to her own as a saint. Martha, who knew Jesus could bring new life.
Third, we offer ourselves in quiet prayer. Myself, I prefer the opening of my entire being to God in centering prayer. Others may pray with a few set sentences and silence, and still others may dance or walk.
As we open ourselves more to God, we also open our hearts more deeply and truly to the world. In reflecting during the weeks of Lent and now Easter, I sense the Holy Spirit within calling me out of comfort and complacence. I sense a stirring in the Christ Church community. We pray, offer ourselves and seek God and . . . next steps to be discerned.
God is working something new in us. God’s invitation is there always to draw closer to God and to join with God in the experience of transformation and in healing our hurting world.