Dear Easter People,
I’ve been reflecting on the wonderful discussions on aging we’ve had in our Sunday school class these past few weeks. It’s been good to talk about the joys and challenges we face together as a community during this stage of life.
In our first class, one of the experts on our panel asked a good, hard question. She said, “Pastor, I want to know what you think… what happens when we die?” After I fumbled around in my mind a bit, I said (or least I intended to say): “Well, none of us really knows, do we? But I think that somehow, some way, we get to experience love in a way that we’ve never known before. Love that, right now, we can’t even imagine.”
I do think that is true. But as I thought about this good, hard question throughout the day, I remembered a story I once read about a Benedictine nun and her dying mom. The sister, in an effort to provides words of comfort, leaned down and whispered, “Mother, in heaven everyone we love is there.” And the older women replied, “No, dear, in heaven I love everyone who’s there.” I love that…. “in heaven, I love everyone who’s there.” This, I think, is what Easter is all about.
We follow one who is love-giver, peacemaker, and mender of the world; One who takes our broken and chaotic places and makes all things new. As followers of the way of this One, we get to join in this work here and now – we look upon the deep need around us so we can try to heal wounds, break injustices, and bring about peace. When we do, when we love as we have been loved, maybe heaven is not as far away as we think.
May God Easter us in joy, in hope, and in strength not just on Easter, not just over seven or eight weeks of Eastertide, but each and every day. Let us be Eastered always!
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen.