Reflection by Bishop Jeff

My wife, Kate, and friends Greg and Kathy Berg sing in a group named Caritas. One of my favorite songs they sing is about a place called hope:

I believe in a place called hope
A place of perfect peace for every heart and soul
Where every wounded spirit may be made whole
Oh, I believe in a place called hope.
(Michael English, composer)

Easter for me is not about colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. It is not even about lilies and tulips and azaleas decking the chancel area. It is certainly not about the clothes we wear. It even goes beyond images of butterflies and the singing of alleluias. Those are simply the ways we respond to a gift for which we cannot pay, although they do have their place in the celebration.

Easter is about a place called hope. It really begins before the dawn in front of the empty tomb, where we, like Mary, bring all of our sorrow, all of our fears. It is Jesus beginning to break the darkness, in calling us by name.

Easter is about laying aside our fears and following Jesus into the world. It is about the words of forgiveness we speak to each other. It is about believing that new beginnings are possible. It is about learning to wash the feet of others. It is about entering places of brokenness. It is about being tireless workers for justice. It is about believing that death does not have the final say. It is about treating all creatures as God’s creatures. It is about living in the anticipation of a blessed reunion of all the saints.

An impossible calling? Not at all. Because of Easter… I still believe in a place called hope.

Thank you, God, for the gift of Easter, for your gift of hope that breaks through the night.

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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