~The Easter Flower~
“But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.”
Dear Members and Friends,
A blessed Holy Week and a very joyful Easter to you! Resurrection, rebirth, new life after suffering and loss, these are at the heart of the Christian faith. Our whole message is that one must die to oneself and to the old ways in order to be born as the person God always intended us to be. Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing. It’s been our custom in the Easter newsletter to republish someone else’s words about resurrection, some poem or long quote from someone other than me. Here’s “The Easter Flower,” a poem about the deep desire to believe, by Claude McKay (1889-1948), a Jamaican-American writer of the Harlem Renaissance.
Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly
My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,
Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily
Soft-scented in the air for yards around;
Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!
Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,
It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief
In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;
And many thought it was a sacred sign,
And some called it the resurrection flower;
And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine,
Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.
Whatever Easter means to you in these strange and troubled times, yield your heart to its power and allow it move you with joy. I do have a few “housekeeping” items to mention. Before rushing on to Easter, let us linger in the truths of Holy Week. The week before Easter acknowledges the suffering and the loss that life entails. On Palm Sunday, we explore Jesus’s quick and short-lived celebrity, followed by his passion and death. On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate communion together in Fellowship Hall and focus on the night of his arrest. The community Good Friday service will return next year, we hope. But our Holy Saturday Prayer Vigil continues. The church will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for personal prayer and reflection. Please park in the kitchen lot and enter by way of the handicap entrance. Prayer guides will be available.
Finally, I made a serious blunder at the February meeting of the congregation. I stated that we had lost 35 pledges in the course of one year. Several people corrected me later; we lost 35 pledges since 2015 - mostly due to member deaths. I’m very sorry for the alarming mistake!
With Resurrection Joy,
PS: Come to our Awakening Breakfast on Easter Day at 8:30, and bring nothing but your appetite!