If we have just been through the Lentiest Lent that we ever Lented, as our bishop Rob Wright has offered, does that mean we’re now in the Easteriest Easter we’ve ever Eastered? In our liturgical tradition, the pathway to Easter is Holy Week. We get to the promise of resurrected life—a life of hope and joy--by following in the way of Jesus and being present, in all our imperfectness, with him in his passion and violent, humiliating death. Unlike Jesus’ disciples before the first Easter, we get to know something of what’s on the other side but God’s way to resurrection remains the way of the cross. As Easter people, we follow the way of the cross, which is, of course, also the way of love.
From the very first day I moved to Columbus over five years ago, it seems as though God has me by the scruff of my neck; no doubt, that is how I got to CVEM. One of the most important things I continue to learn and experience here is this: when we choose be present with someone who is suffering we begin to find God present also; and in God’s presence there is hope. I don’t mean the judgy kind of presence; and not the thank-god-it’s-not-me kind of presence either. Just the be-ing kind of presence. Nor do I mean the deferred, heavenly reward kind of hope; but real hope in and for the present. A hope that is enough for today. Is this not our Easter path every year to resurrection by way of the cross?
Throughout this Easter season I invite you to be present with some of our neighbors and hear their stories of weariness under the weight of unrelenting poverty, fears of how to take care of a family in the sudden loss of income, and the fear we all recognize of an unknown future in a world with COVID-19. Perhaps this will be the Easteriest Easter after all if in our compassionate presence with one another we also find God present with us and there we find hope. And it is enough.