Grace and peace to you on this Good Friday.

Dear Congregation,
Grace and peace to you on this Good Friday. I pray that it is well with your soul. Participating in last night’s Maundy Thursday meal, Rite of Footwashing, Holy Communion, and the Tenebrae Service of Shadows certainly fed my soul. The love that Jesus commanded felt very present throughout the events of the evening. Thank you to everyone who was able to be there and contributed in so many ways to this special time of remembrance.
Today I encourage you to take a little time to reflect on the events of that day so long ago when Jesus’ was crucified and his grief-stricken followers, those who loved him, thought that was the end of his life and ministry. They didn’t know, as we do now, that Easter was coming!
The meaning of Easter has changed for me, as I imagine it has for you, over the years. I’ve shared a picture of one of the first Easters I remember, Easter 1951. In it I am standing with my sister Sharon on the steps of my grandparents’ front porch. We are dressed almost identically in our Easter finery—different bonnets. Because we were born only thirteen months apart my mother often dressed us alike. We look happy with our Easter baskets beside us, after Sunday School and church. For us then, Easter was all about the new clothes and the candy!
There have been many Easters since then. Along with all the good things that have happened in my seventy-seven years, inevitably, as life has unfolded, there have been losses of loved ones and the realization of one’s own mortality, the same as for many of you. And that’s where the true message of Easter gives assurance and hope.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, death is not the end. Ultimately, all that is death-dealing in the world will be made right. That is why we sing Alleluia on Easter morning, as we will this Sunday when Joan Campagna, the Keeper of the Alleluia, returns the Alleluia banner at the beginning of worship. Alleluia, Christ is Risen! This glorious message is what Easter means to me now with all the hope, joy, peace, and love that they hold. May it be so also for you!
See you in church!
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candy
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