"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
There is so much I could write about Easter -- especially this one, which began inauspicsiouly as yours truly as the Easter Bunny stepped in a big pile of fresh dog poop while hiding eggs in the back yard (there's nothing like trying to get that lovely smell out of your shoes with 5 minutes to go before leaving for church. After all the scrubbing didn't quite do it, I finally had to douse them with aftershave!)
What brings tears (the good kind) to my eyes more than anything else in the whole world is hope. Hope in the middle of hopelessness and despair. Hope not as wishing but as a sure conviction that good will prevail, that God will prevail and that there is nothing stronger than love. Hope is why I love Easter and Christmas. They are the two times in the year that we make a point of getting together with everything we've got and saying "in your face!" to all the crap going on in the world.
And that hope breaks through to me in different ways all the time. Today, it happened in church ... but not the way you would expect. It wasn't during the service but when Robin, Schroedter, Hayden and I were cutting through the Cathedral to get to our car right before the 11:15 service started. And I looked over and saw all these amazing ECM students sitting there. And then on the way to the car ran in to Nicole ... and then to Ryan, Rory, Kirsten, Laurie and Emily (yes! I finally got to meet Emily!). And it was like wave after wave of joy seeing everyone.
I have to have the best job in the world. I just can't imagine a job better than I have. And part of what is wonderful about this sabbatical is that I'm appreciating it more and more. When I saw everyone ... and kept seeing everyone ... my heart just ached and felt like it was going to explode. And as weird as it sounds, I mean that in a good way. I am so incredibly blessed to be even a small part of these people's lives. What God is doing in this community is so profound ... just reading Katy and Hopie and Laurie's blogs about how Holy Week moved them brought tears to my eyes. THIS is what it's all about! It's about a community taking its faith in God and its love for each other so seriously that it moves them to tears ... and also to amazing things.
So after all the inspirational liturgies, readings, and preaching I experienced this Holy Week, the most powerful piece of it all, the moment of hope that moved my eyes to tears, happened as I was walking to my car ... and I saw all these amazing faces of amazing people who are the most amazing community I can possibly imagine. And I am so thankful and so grateful and so amazed that God has placed me here.
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Christ is alive! Alleluia!
I know because I have seen him in all these faces. I know because I have heard him in all these voices.
I know because when I look at all the people who have made up and do make up ECM, I am filled with the sure and certain hope of Christ's life and love.
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."