Let your hearts be full of joy and hope. Easter is here! The tomb is empty. We can look in and even enter it. We can see with Mary of Magdala and John and Peter that he is not there. The grave clothes are neatly folded, no grave robbers would do that. (John 20:1`-9). He has risen and will soon meet us on the road to Galilee. (Mark 16:1-7) Jesus can meet us any place-even where we first met him-where we first loved him as he first loved us. And we can begin again . Like Mary of Magdala we can encounter the risen Christ because He lives and wants to give us life now and forever. We can hear him call our name softly as he called “Mary” when she met him in the garden. (John 20 :10-18). We can welcome him in our locked rooms when we are frightened and thinking all hope is gone, like the disciples did. (John 20:19-21). We can hear him call us again to go into all the world and share the good news of God’s love and the gift of life-life eternal. Life bigger than death. Life that gives us another today and tomorrow. We can celebrate!
“He is Risen”
“He is risen, indeed!”
And so we rise,
Nothing or no one can hold you back.
“And still I rise”, as the poet Laureate Maya Angelou wrote. “And still I rise”.
As Kool & the Gang sing: “Celebrate good times, come on!/(Let’s celebrate)/Celebrate good times, come on! (It’s a celebration)” Because of Easter, life is a celebration-no matter what. I know it can be easier to sing than to really do, for we too have borne the crosses and felt the pain of Good Friday, but once we let in that death’s finality is off the table, it is only a stop on the way to forever, no matter how difficult the transition may be. Once we let that in, the heavy load is lifted and we can “let the good times roll”. We are so thankful for what Christ Jesus has done! And so we can sing “Thank you ,God, Thank you God…You been my friend.” You did this for me, brought me to new life and I am so thankful. You did this because You love the whole world, in all of its darkness and radiant light! And now I can help you reach the world with Your message of such love and justice. With Your help I can do it! And most of all, while I may only be able to brighten this corner, I know that Your Easter people are throughout the world carrying Your message of LOVE.
He LIVES, we LIVE! I hope that you can feel it this Easter. This Easter when the pandemic is still here, though we see the light at the end of the tunnel. This Easter when 2020 was full of fear and loss. This very Easter-we can sing “Christ ,the Lord is risen today-ALLELUIA!. Oh, thank God for Easter, yes Alleluia, yes CELEBRATE. Every day of life is cause for celebration. Celebrate for Love and Life have triumphed-find the joy today. In the look or voice of a loved one. Even in the written messages of loved ones whom we can not see in person or hold or touch. In virtual visits, and in real visits finally. In the beauty of Creation, mountains, the sea, the little creatures, and new life all around. Thank you God! We celebrate!
This is a link to the blog I wrote last year and because my heart is still full with those sentiments I share it here:
Appended with a link in that blog is the 18th Chapter of my book on the life of Rev. Judy Beaumont, my beloved partner in life and ministry for almost 29 years who made her transition home to our loving God on January 1, 2018. A dynamo in our Good Shepherd Ministries serving the homeless since 2003 in Fort Myers, and since 1981 in Connecticut. She was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in 2012 and was also a peace activist who was imprisoned for her actions with Plowshares and for her convictions, and a Benedictine Sister of almost 35 years. She loved and lived and served every minute of her life. The 18th Chapter is the final Chapter in the book. It is out of order and not the best way to read a book from end to beginning so I do hope you will get the book from Amazon.com as an e-book or paperback and immerse yourself in the life of a humble and courageous saint. Some of the Chapters were written by her, initially for other purposes and the rest is from my recall-but it is an account of such an unusual life, a life that always celebrated resurrection-no matter what! I give the link to the last chapter because in this chapter I share my experience of seeing her fully alive and at her peak during an Ordination ten months after her death. What a gift to me, and now I share it with you. She Lives because He lives! Celebrate!
CELEBRATE– EASTER IS HERE ! Grab your life with both hands and LIVE!
May God Bless you this Easter and Always,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP
Rev. Dr. Judith A. B. Lee
Good Shepherd Ministries of SWFL