Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
I am flooded with joy thinking of the special traditions and celebrations that have just taken place across the Synod this past Holy Week.
Thank you for proclaiming the new life and hope of life in Jesus into the hearts and spirits of so many.
I am also reminded that the very first Easter was something much different. As they went to the tomb, the followers of Jesus might have felt that they were abandoned by God and that death had the last word. After the celebratory Easter worship, we turn back into our lives as they are, and wonder, do death and despair really have the last word? The senseless and cruel bombings in Sri Lanka, the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Damage to creation. Sickness and death of loved ones.
This weekend, I was blessed to preside in worship at Esperanza Lutheran and Julie Gerrish, one of the Grand Canyon Synod candidates who is engaged in the process to become a pastor, was the preacher.
The fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral affected her this past week, but she found unexpected hope. 180,000 honeybees living in the tower—a species that have been dying out—survived the fire. This isn't a place she was looking for Jesus to speak, but she found hope in the honeybees. Honeybees alive in the roof are Jesus saying "I am here!"
Through the gift of faith, we live into trust that God is doing something greater than we can imagine. We hang on to hope that if we can't, God will bring new life. Easter isn't just one day. It's why we gather together. That we might be reminded and remind each other that Life has the last word.
Have you heard Jesus speak your name? Share this story with someone this week. It may be the sign of hope they need to hear.
Christ is risen, indeed.
The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA