A Pastoral Message

Easter Message 2024


Last November, I participated in an ELCA Regional Consultation for synods that have companion relationships with churches in Latin America and the Caribbean. The theme for this event was “Reconnect, Renew, Rise Again,” and as you can see in the event logo, it was based on the Japanese art form known as “kintsugi.” This describes the process in which broken pottery is repaired by using a special gold lacquer, treating the breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.


During the consultation, we shared stories about the impact of the pandemic and the challenges to our ministries. We shared how it caused us to reflect on our brokenness and the ways that God enters into our pain, not covering it up or making it go away, but using it to remind us that we are held together with the grace and love of God. Our brokenness is to be embraced, and it may even make us more beautiful.


This seems to be a helpful image for us to consider this Holy Week and Easter season. Jesus entered our world and embraced the pain and struggle of our lives, even unto death. Jesus continues to invite us to walk into and through these challenges, not running away from them or pretending that they don’t exist, so that we might discover the beauty and grace of a God who gathers the broken pieces of our lives and holds them together in love.


As we walk with Jesus and with one another, through the quiet acts of love and betrayal of the upper room and the garden of Gethsemane, to the pain of the mock trial, the agony of the cross, and the surprising joy of the empty tomb, we can trust that God redeems our broken lives and gives us the strength we need to face tomorrow with hope.


In Christ,

Bishop Paul Erickson