FR. DAVID’S BLOG OF 4/17/2020 — Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
This Easter acclamation that faithful Christians know and affirm in their lives was proclaimed this past Easter Sunday morning to empty churches around the world. And yet, in this age of COVID-19, this proclamation rings true even now in the midst of a devastating pandemic that has resulted in over 100,000 fatalities around the world.
This week, I invite you to click here to contact me to share how you have experienced Resurrection this year. What have you seen raised to new life? One way to engage the power of the Resurrection is to reflect on what has given you joy. During the last month we have been sheltered at home and have had to find new ways of connecting with people — be it on the email or phone or video conferencing. I want to hear from you!
A month ago, early on in the Governor’s State of Emergency, at the Diocesan Council video-conference meeting, Bishop Brown checked in with each member and asked us to share where we were finding joy at this time. He asked where is our joy when all of us are worried about our health, the health of our loved ones, our jobs, our finances and how to cope with a great deal of uncertainty. When it came time for me to share, I said that I found joy taking daily walks with Emily and being able to be outside. I then shared my sense of being weary and scared as well as taking on the anxiety of the parish as we struggle with how to meet our financial obligations during these stressful times. I was the only one on the call to admit these feelings.
Slowly I have begun to have more moments of joy that lead me to know that Christ has Risen. These moments of joy include two video conference calls the last two weeks with many of my first cousins and their kids. We have not yet discovered the mute button, as we all want to talk at the same time. My cousin, Nat, has to remind us to mute and unmute when we want to say something. I found joy during Holy Week when our Lenten course concluded with a rich discussion about the Eucharist and the Body of Christ. I found joy and peace in sitting in an empty church on Good Friday for three hours, reading the Passion from the Gospel of John interspersed with periods of silence and meditating on the simple wooden cross placed at the center. On Holy Saturday I had a wonderful but brief video-conference call with our Children’s Chapel kids and was so happy to see their smiling faces as well as to see their parents. I find great joy and comfort when I talk to you on the phone to check in and grateful that you are well. These are just a few examples of joy during this season of Resurrection.
Where do you find Joy today? I would love to hear from you so we can talk. Please contact me and then we can make time to talk.
The Lord Has Risen Indeed, Alleluia!
Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
-Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765