Easter Letter

This winter in New York was full of snow.  It was full of Sundays and Mondays that had storms of snow and ice, which disrupted school and work schedules. 

With some extra time on my hands, I indulged my addiction to Nexflix instant streaming.  A series I have been watching is “Parenthood.”  In short, the show, to quote Netflix, is about “Four grown siblings [who] juggle parenthood, relationships, careers and more as they cope with life’s ups and downs…”  The show is excellent, but what I find myself listening for each time I watch it is the theme song.  It is “Forever Young,” written and sung by Bob Dylan.

There are two lines that strike me every time:  “May you always do for others/And let others do for you.”  To me, one of the points of the show is that, when together, the family is much bigger than each individual.  Or, in mathematical terms, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

That is how I like to look at the church.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  The pastor is important, but the words that I say and the worship that I lead would fall short with I was the only one experiencing it.  The musicians and choir are important, but without a spiritually-minded gathering, their beautiful music would be just a nice-sounding concert.  Those in the congregation are important, but without the context and purpose of spiritual worship, it is just a gathering of a social club.

Jesus made sure that his people took care of each other.  In fact, God did the same thing, with the Ten Commandments focusing both on loving God and loving one’s neighbor.  While Jesus took care of others, there are many stories of people taking care of him: feeding him, giving him shelter in their homes.  And the early church made sure “the least of these” were cared for, while sharing everything they had with each other, making sure that no one was left out.

When all of the elements are mixed together, what emerges is a glorious gathering of God’s people, who not only worship and go out in service to others, but also take care of each other.  At its best, each person in the church is being cared for as much as they care for others.  No one is left on their own.

My prayer for you this Easter, is that in whatever spiritual home find yourself, is that you experience Jesus’ resurrection in a place where “you always do for others / and let others do for you.”  May the joy of his resurrection touch you in the places where you feel sad, lonely, or just left out.  And may the joy of his resurrection touch you in the places where you feel happiness, love and delight. 

Wishing you Resurrection blessings,

Rev. Linda Willey