God of new life,
In these Easter days the wonder of the Risen Christ is close.
Walking in the budding woods, resurrection is everywhere,
the heart-song of the wild daffodil’s golden center,
the magnolia’s blushed cup, the downy new leaf and the rippling brook.
It is clear that life-death-life is the pattern at the center of the universe—
renewal, transformation, regeneration, healing.
And yet, all over our communities and our world it is easy to see death.
There are lots of scenes still holding Good Friday,
that feel like the silence of the tomb closing,
as we continue to crucify ourselves, each other and the earth over and over again.
We hear the earth and her people cry out like the split rocks and torn veil:
- In Indonesia and Timor-Leste where floods and landslides have killed over 150 and have left thousands homeless.
- In Mali where within a deteriorating national security situation, 4 Chadian UN peacekeepers were killed, and 34 others wounded.
- In Taiwan after the deadliest train crash in decades.
- In the United States where states like Arkansas have banned health treatment for transgender youth.
- In Rwanda as the anniversary of the Tutsi genocide is remembered with renewed calls from the UN to defeat the hate-driven polarizations that still dominate.
- In Central America where gang violence and increasing food shortages are sending more and more refugees, many of them children, North.
- In the United States as we listen to the Derek Chauvin trial and hear the cry for justice.
- For over a year now we have heard COVID-19’s cry around the globe.
This week in Brazil and India COVID-related cases and deaths reached new highs.
In our interconnected living, the ripple effects are felt everywhere as news reports
show the disproportionately ill-effects of the pandemic on gender equality, children’s education, mental health, as well as injustice in vaccine distribution.
We weep with those who are grieving. We hold up our hands with the angry and anguished. We pray with Jesus, who cried out to God, “why have you forsaken me?” yet trusted in God’s resurrection power. May we all feel the comforting presence of God who is always with us and for us.
Within our cries is the ripe soil of transformation’s hope. We can see places around the world, in our communities, our homes, and in our very bodies where resurrection is being lived boldly and joyfully. We celebrate:
- Women UN peacekeepers like Martina de Maria Sandoval Linares, from El Salvador, who is serving in South Sudan providing a powerful example for girls and women in both countries.
- In Greenland where elections this week put a halt on mining for rare minerals.
- New studies showing that Los Angeles, in the United States, has seen a 78% cut in toxic air emissions in the last 24 years, resulting in 82% fewer attributable deaths.
- In India where fisherman save their net catches of ocean plastics to be used to rebuild roads from recycled materials.
- In England where conservationists have built giant sandcastles to ensure Martins have a nesting home for years to come, as urban developments have taken much of the Swallow’s natural habitat.
In all of these acts and under each cry is the beating-heart of Love.
We thank you, transforming God, for the mystery of this constant Love
and for Jesus’ Wisdom Journey as an example of how to live the pattern of life-death-life.
May we have the courage to keep living toward resurrection’s new bloom.
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