Rev’d Janet’s Easter Letter to St. John’s

Walking in a garden, at the break of day,

Mary asked the gardener, Where the body lay; but He, her first love, turned towards her, smiled at her and said: ‘Mary! Spring is here to stay, only death is dead.’      

It is that simple and that wonderful – at Easter Jesus looked suffering and death straight in the eye and went through them, right through them. In the heart of the earth he lay three days, and from a place of despair he found a path to the other side. He could no more lie forever in the tomb as a tulip bulb can remain dormant in its casing in springtime. It cannot hold the beauty of its petals from the sun and curious children. Jesus could no more silence the power of God within him calling forth resurrection life, as a songbird can silence her song. Jesus broke the bonds of death to hold us and all creation. New life, fullness of life, is ours through Him. All of us, even the despairing, will come to the finish line with cheers to greet us “my beloved, welcome!”

When the bombs of someone’s anger explode around you, when you feel shattered by criticism or discouraged by circumstance, and your plans in ruins, He comes to us, and proclaims His love for us. This love is total. It is full and unconditional. It is radically vulnerable and infinitely sufficient. It is fresh with hope and fearless in the face of rejection. It is our first love. I hope for you, many loves in your life and never a time when you think love is through with you. The paths we take to reclaim this first love are our stories and so precious. Be proud of them and share them. There is a mighty heaven in all things, including you! Tucked into every day are grace and beauty to find. Soon the songbirds will be waking us with their jubilant springtime songs. There is a wonderful saying A bird doesn’t sing because it has the answers, it sings because it has a song.”

You have a song given to you by the Creator, and you have a Savior who rose from death to life to proclaim to you eternal love. With His love we bloom again and again, after a death, after an illness, a falling, after a storm or heartbreak. We find the power of God within us. And we help others to do the same.  Maud Lewis, Nova Scotia folk artist, had a harsh life. She lost her parents in a sudden car accident, and her only child at birth, suffered the criticism and lack of faith of her family, lived with severe arthritis and little material means. And yet she knew inside her was a song to sing and in God’s world, beauty and love to give and find. Maud sang through her paint brush. When her surly fisherman husband Everett, told her in the 2017 movie Maudie, “there are the chickens, the dogs, and then you” she was crushed but not done with finding the mighty heaven buried inside him. I share two tender exchanges between them, because they are resurrection stories and remind us at this Eastertime, that we too have risen again and again and Jesus’ love is near to help us claim and tell our stories.

A stern Everett tells Maud, at the kitchen table – “Who told you, you could paint fairies on the wall, huh?” Maud replies “They are not fairies they are birds.” “Well who told you could do that, huh?” Maud responds: “Well you did! You said make the place look all right and I think it looks all right!” .Everett:”No painting in this corner, no painting on my boots, on my gear. the rest is fine, birds or fairies.”  It would be easy to miss the bit of heaven Maud loosened in this exchange, but she just moved a mountain! The other exchange is as they sit somber faced on a fence outside and Maud says to Everett, “Hey you see that cloud, it looks like a woman with a big … “ Looking right at her. Everett’s frozen face transforms with a rare laugh. He pauses and says to Maud “I don’t see her. I see you.” Maud replies “What do you see?” Everett says:. “I see you as my wife, I always have. I just . . . I don’t want you to leave me.” Maud says: Why would I do that? And Everett replies: “Because you can do much better than me.” Maud’s answer is no less than her resurrection story: “ No. I got everything I want with you Ev. Everything.”

Join us Eastertime for Holy Week Services

Palm Sunday Palm Crosses March 25 – 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday March 29 Candlelight Taize Holy Communion at 7 p.m. and Hand/Foot washing optional

Good Friday March 30 Service -full choir 10:30 a.m.

Easter Day 9:00 a.m. Traditional Holy Communion

10:30 a.m. Family friendly Easter Praise, Song and Holy Communion, organ Hallelujah – Handel “Messiah”