Early on…while it was yet dark…John 20:1
Dear Friends in Christ,
It has been a hell of a Lent. Of course that’s a Biblical word (hell), and remember, our season started with a story about the devil, included scriptures about blood, proceeded during a land war in Europe, and by the end of the season there were school shootings, tornadoes, hurricanes, and train derailments. It has been a hell of a Lent.
Now, what does God do with hell? Delivers some heaven. So that’s what’s next.
The brief text above is part of the heaven story — the Easter story, in John. The women go to the tomb early on, while it is yet dark. And this is John’s way of both recalling the actual events, as well as his signal to his readers that God’s good news comes in the midst of our bad news. While it is yet dark, God brings light. That is John’s Easter assertion.
Whether your heart and soul, your mind and concerns, are drawn to Ukraine or Mass and Cass — whether you are wondering about gun control or climate control, our Christian claim is that heaven trumps hell. That light shines in darkness. That good news is the last word, not bad news.
Whether we have dark nights of the soul, as we discussed in our adult education conversations, or whether our “wrestling with God” brings us to a place of blessing, as it did Jacob so long ago, the direction of the Christian story is always the same: toward heaven, hope, light, and new life.
The month of April will include Confirmation classes, new members, planning for our budget, and very possibly the final sale of our parsonage. CE will make more sandwiches, the Mission Committee will organize another modest fundraiser, and all of us will see both the same hellish ingredients of our globe that came during Lent, along with the best hopeful gifts of God from Easter. So, let’s choose Easter.
This Easter it seems like we are coming out of our three-year covid cave, and like the stone is being rolled away both for our beloved traditions at NHCC, and for new calls that are just now taking shape. It seems like there is new life on the wind. But it begins while it is yet dark, same as always, so — same as always — open your eyes and your spirits to what we may yet do together, even while it is yet dark. Frankly, this is often when God does her best work.
Check out our full Holy Week and Eastertide schedule, and see you soon.