A Note from Laura: April 13th, 2023
A Note from Laura
April 13th, 2023
The lilies were still fragrant, the Allelulias echoing in my ears, when I was at the airport with my brother three days later. Chatting with a baggage handler, Mark asked him if he’d been busy. He looked quizzical when I chimed in “with Easter.”
He looked up. “Easter? I didn’t know it was still a thing.”
Was Easter ever still “a thing” at St. Martin’s this year! For me, it was one of the most remarkable ever.
As I wrote in my Easter sermon, I love Christmas, but I need Easter. Easter deepens for me every year as my trust in the power of the resurrection expands and grows.
Shortly after 6 a.m., in the early morning light, I preached for the first time on an Easter Sunday.
(As a priest associate in my prior church, where there was only one service, I preached on Palm Sundays.)
I didn’t expect more than a few brave souls but we had sixteen. Amazing. As I stood in the pulpit the intimacy of the moment hit me unexpectedly. My spiritual journey has always led me to “a place beyond imagining” and this was one more. (Easter Sunday Sermon).
Mark rang the bell three times at the start of the service—as he did for the next three-- his smile spilling off his face. I once wrote that Mark’s life “is an invitation to the world to be kind.” The kindness he felt at St. Martin’s felt boundless. “I’m really going to miss this church,” he said to me the day after Easter.
Easter came full circle with the internment of Frank Griswold in the Columbarium shortly before the 11:15 service. The sun was high in the sky. The love that he poured out into the world was there to hold him and the family who loved him best. His remains were in a silk bag that was contained in a gigantic Easter egg which somehow kept his irrepressible spirit alive to the edge of eternity.
The joy Frank brought to his life in Christ is the joy we celebrate at Easter. As sad as the moment was, Frank carried us through, just as we carried him for the final steps of his earthly life.
The triumph of Easter was unleashed at the 11:15 a.m. service. The flowers filled the church with the magnificence of Spring. Jim’s powerful preaching, the choir’s magnificent music and Tyrone’s mastery of the organ all came together—with all of you--- in a glorious service that left no doubt about who we are at St. Martin’s in our life with Christ.
When we ran out of leaflets, Jim asked the congregation to share. Watching hands reach out across the pews from the front of the church to the back, reminded me of the feeding of the five thousand. Scarcity turns into abundance when we reach out and share what we have.
St. Martin’s is abundantly blessed. But Easter is not only a day; it’s a calling. It is incumbent upon all of us now to make Easter a verb and share our abundant gifts with our community and world.
Yes, Easter “is still a thing.” Thanks be to God. Alelluia! Alleluia! AMEN
Tags: Clergy & Staff