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Easter Sunday: Church is Closed, Hearts are Open

Dear Church,

As Easter Sunday draws near, the day upon which the entire Christian faith transpired, I can’t help but sit and reflect.

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Easter Sunday, 1976

I ponder my childhood Easter dresses. What would everyone be wearing on Easter Sunday? Easter hats. Frills. Yet, some, had no new clothes as their Easter would be spent looking for a dry space on the streets and a blanket for warmth.

I remember glorious Easter baskets filled with chocolate, jelly beans, stuffed animals, toys. Yet, some children, were begging God to rescue them from the torment of their own homes.

As I ponder my childhood, I remember Easter brunch, Grandma’s house full of people, deviled eggs and bacon wrapped ham. Meanwhile, children around the world were taking care of themselves, foraging through trash heeps, growing up in orphanages – never touched.

I remember the Hallelujah Chorus, live donkeys making their way down the aisle, a choir member standing in the place of Jesus as the entire church looked on in awe.

I sit today, pondering. My childhood Easter.

The truth is, I haven’t attended an Easter service in years. I walked away from the 4 walls several years ago. Yet, my heart seeks and yearns for the God of my childhood. The God of love. The God who taught us to love and to look after our neighbor. The God of humanity who has shared the message of love in ways we all might understand. Yet such love might look very different from one culture to another – one faith to the next.

I do not seek the God of Christianity. Though, I know, I could find her there.

I seek the God, I most often call Love. A God that has always existed outside the 4 walls of religion. The God, who on this Easter Sunday, will meet their children via zoom as families sit around the computer to see pastors speak and lead in an entirely new way. I seek the God who will join the often forgotten group of singles, as they meditate in their homes.

I seek the God who loves both the child, who grew up wearing Easter dresses, attending Easter morning services and the child begging God to rescue her from the torment of her own home.

Perhaps, they are one in the same.

I seek the God who somehow reminds the widow of hope. The abused that they matter.

Often such love is found through the kindness of a stranger. Perhaps a friend.

I seek the God who yearns to reveal love to the prideful, knowing this includes me.

I seek The God who whispers through the hearts of leaders that Love is the way. That hope is alive. That truth is found in the hidden acts of kindness of the people they lead.

I seek the God who never gives up on us. The God who kneels. The God who whispers to each of us:

Love is real. Love is here. In the midst. Love is available for all. To all. My child, you are love. 

Love

Simply

Is

Dear Church, today, I ponder a God who has always existed beyond the 4 walls. Never constrained by religion nor rules.

I marvel at a God who will join in celebrating holidays we made up for her, yet not be confined by those same holidays.

Today, I ponder a God, who, this Easter Sunday will join us in our simple moments. In new traditions. In our smiles. Our tears. And remind us about hope. A hope not in what we believe should be, but rather in a hope that follows love. Because, dear Church, the God I know is also called Love. And as a human race, made in the image of Love. We, too, are Love.

And this Easter, Love will lead us back to everything that truly matters.

And what matters is often found in the simple things. The humble things.

What matters is the hearts of our brothers and sisters. The lives of our neighbors. The health of the world.

Happy Easter, Church. You are love.

May we both seek and find Love today and always.

Sincerely,

A Girl Who Will Never Give Up on Love