Dear friends in Christ,
On Saturday evening, many churches will have gathered to celebrate on Easter Eve. The celebrant begins the service in darkness by saying, “Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer.”
The whole of Holy Week could be seen as a gathering in vigil in prayer. At this most holy time, we spend time remembering God’s great love for us as shown forth in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
While we tend to love others when it feels convenient and good to us, we recall how Jesus taught us to love others as he loved us: completely and sacrificial. Instead of turning away from the cross, we spend time gazing at it. And we then we revel in the utter and shocking victory of God’s victory over fear, sin, and death.
I hope you will join me in spending lots of time in church this week. Though we are dispersed throughout the world, we will be together in hearing God’s promises to us. We will share in the drama and awe of the ancient liturgies of the church. We will meet Jesus in the scriptures and sacraments. And we will find our hearts gladdened with the good news that no person and no place is beyond God’s redemptive love.
Blessings to you.