We have moved from a hard cross to an empty tomb. We have moved from conscientiously considering the pain, suffering and penitence of Lent and Holy Week, to absolute joy and abundance. Solemn silence has turned to boundless Alleluias! Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified and buried, is now alive again as Jesus Christ, The Messiah. The event of The Resurrection has enabled us to have a Lord and Savior because Jesus Christ is now Risen!
Holy Scripture gives us many examples of “Easter Stories.” With the accounting of the two men walking on the road to Emmaus with Jesus, of the doubting disciple—Thomas–who needs to see to believe, and of course Mary Magdalene and the other women at the empty tomb, our principal story from Luke’s Gospel for this Easter Sunday. Examples, every one, of how The Risen Lord transforms peoples’ lives with the gift of hope through belief in him.
This year’s Easter Letter is an invitation to share your story with St. James’ in whatever way touches your heart. Telling the Story is a theme for our parish this year. As we minister in ways that are both familiar to us as well as new, all such offerings help demonstrate how to honor the gifts of those who went before us. Being able to share our own “Easter Stories” is the first step toward discipleship. And that sharing can be accomplished through witnessing a service and celebrating the Mass; acknowledging the blessings within your life through bestowing gifts; or maybe checking out the ministry of the St. James’ Thrift Shop. Telling the Story is a mutual and corporate call to discern how we can connect around the sacred moments in our individual lives. Drop us a note, submit a prayer request, bring in some gently-used items for the Thrift Shop. Share in the Book Club or attend bible study group. Invite a friend who is unchurched to a service. Place an “SJP” automobile decal on your car even if you do not have children or grandchildren attending the Preschool.
Easter is the reason for The Risen Lord! Who will you be sharing your Easter Story with this year, and how is St. James’ Episcopal Church part of that journey? Remember the words from Luke’s Gospel for this Easter,
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. [Luke 24:5-6 NRSV]
Discipleship begins with recognizing the Easter Story in our lives, and then sharing that story. Alleluia, and Amen!