For the past several years, we've attended worship at one of the local churches that support UKirk on Easter, and then had students over for brunch... we've done this on sunny Easters, when we could even have an egg hunt in the yard... and we've done this on rainy Easters, when we were huddled inside. We've done it in years when there were lots of students--because not a lot of folks could go home because Easter was so close to finals, and we've done it with just a half a dozen or so students, when lots of folks were away for the holiday. This year is different, of course, since we are apart and so much has changed during this holy season. But though it may not feel like Easter, Christ is still risen. The love and power of our Lord is still with us, even if everything feels far away. I hope doing this short meditation below will offer you that sense of comfort.
And special thanks, again, to Betsy Black, one of our students, for allowing us to use her photography during this holy week. This photo looks how Easter may now feel! www.rawartists.com.betsyblackbb
Sit with an unlit candle and take a moment to observe this photo.
Light the candle, saying:
The light of Christ is rising in glory,
dispelling the darkness of our hearts and minds.
Rejoice, all heavenly choirs of angels!
Christ has conquered; the risen Savior shines upon you.
The holiness of this resurrection restores joy to those who mourn and humbles earthly pride.
May Christ, the Morning Star, rising from the grave, shed light on the whole human race.
And we pray, O God: protect, giving us peace, in this time and forever. Amen.
Take a deep breath. Then pray:
O God, you are the creator of the world,
the liberator of your people,
and the wisdom of the earth.
By the resurrection of your Son,
free us from our fears,
restore us in your image,
and ignite us with your light,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Allow yourself to get even more comfortable, wherever you are, then read...
John 20: 1-21
About this Gospel... Mary weeps and so do we, for there is so much to process. But do not weep. The Risen Christ calls each of us by name and meets us all in the places where we wait. Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Remembering we are joined together as one holy family, pray these intercessions:
Eternal giver of life and light, Your people, however angry, tired and worn, shine with the
radiance of the risen Christ. Heal those who are hurting. Be with those who mourn...
Renew us with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship together, though apart.
Help us to know Your presence, even and especially when it seems we can only see Your
absence. Let love and justice and goodness and abundance shine as a light in the world,
through your Son, who taught us to pray saying:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For the kin(g)dom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
Now go do something that brings you joy. It’s still Easter, even if it feels weird. Christ is risen! Alleluia.
Liturgy adapted from Home Worship by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw, Arlington, VA