Rev. Evelyn Vigil
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it…
The little girl at the Dollar Store might have been on spring break or she might not have even been old enough to go to school. Either way she charmed us all by modeling her new Easter hat, the lilac straw with the wide brim highlighting her black shimmering hair.
We smiled at her as she twirled around with her hat on before her mother took it from her to have the cashier ring it up. The girl was thrilled. Come Sunday she would be one of the best dressed folks at church, no doubt.
The whole world ready for Easter, but few takers ready for the sorrow of Holy Week, which starts with Maundy Thursday. We will gather in the parish hall, eating and laughing, enjoying ourselves until we remember why we gathered, why the disciples gathered with Jesus centuries ago.
It’s a hard story of betrayal and faith, of hope and despair, and questions that have survived the centuries. Why did it have to end in a crucifixion? What was the meaning of it all? The death and the Resurrection. What does it tell us about God?
Not that long ago Patty Ebner and the Rev. Melanie Weiner and I stopped at cells and asked men who wondered about Ash Wednesday if they wanted to be marked with the cross reminding them of their mortality. “Dust thou art and to dust thou shall return,” I heard myself say again and again.
Lent began, the slow march to Holy Week and the victory of Easter.
Men bent to receive the ashes. Some foreheads were wet with sweat because the men had been working out. Some foreheads were smooth and easy to mark with ash, while other foreheads were furrowed, signifying a worried man. The men understood mortality.
We all do. The world will end someday for each of us, but the promise of Easter is that we as Christians will see the risen Lord, will celebrate his return and in breaking bread with one another hold out the hope that the Christ will rise again.
This Easter, may we be like that little girl: offering the world our best, knowing that our faith will lead us to the light, our eyes will shine with the knowledge of God’s love, and the joy of the day will remind that we are God’s children, the Body of Christ.
May it ever be so.