Eastertide as the Way of Love:
A friend of mine is expecting their first child this week, his wife is tired of being pregnant and can’t wait to be released from the heartburn and difficulties of sleeping. While my friend can see his wife’s body changing and knows that ‘they’ are expecting, he definitively knows he is not pregnant. At this point, he and I both have shared similar puzzlement and struggles about this new life. How do you accompany your wife/ partner and be fully drawn into this moment of pregnancy (new life)? The arrival of a newborn is a tough journey from a woman’s perspective, with a lot of bodily changes and demands. While at the same time, it is a joyous and surprising journey. It is full of mystery. A parent may ask with pride and doubt: How did we grow this baby? Did I really make this human being? At a time of frustration and fatigue, the question may change tone to…What did I get myself into?
I want to equate this period of Easter with the journey one takes with a pregnant partner and the birth of a newborn. An exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable journey, yet it is full of hard work and pain. As St. John’s is transitioning back to in-person worship, living into this new reality is going to be exciting to see people. For example, Easter Sunday, I had a blast with the Easter Egg Hunt with children scrambling across the lawn. On Good Friday, the stations of the cross was also a connecting point to visit with people and hold pastoral conversations. The new life of Eastertide is going to give us a lot of opportunities to connect and form new relationships. The Invite-Welcome Connect has created opportunities for walking groups and hiking groups, hoping that the St John’s family will connect and rekindle their relationships in new ways.
Personally, I have seven Sundays left with St Johns and I am so very grateful for your love and support. St John’s has been a wonderful and loving community for me. I want to cherish every moment with you. At the same time, I am feeling sad to be saying goodbye to this parish. So all of us are living in this new life of change with a lot of emotions and hard work. That is the Way of Love. Changes come and when we embrace them, we are often changed forever. Changes are a part of the Eastertide season, and are a blessing. For example, in our North Carolina weather, we see trees filled with new leaves and have been overwhelmed by pollen, and yet we see new life and experience something new.
May we experience the Way of love in this Eastertide.
May our hearts be filled with new hopes
and let go of our fears and frustrations.
May we be changed and willing to embrace change,
So that we can be changemakers with courage and compassion.
May the resurrection stories of Eastertide dispel our fears and fill and unlock our hearts.
And may the lockdowns of the Coronavirus pandemic, continue to teach us lessons,
About love, relationships and our hunger for social gatherings and communal support.
Help us to leave our doors open for new possibilities.
May access to the vaccine lead to new hopes, and translate into new life for all us.
Curate at St John’s Episcopal Church