And Finally: April 2018

I am writing to you from that in-between space we enter into at the end of Lent when Holy Week is on the horizon. I have listened afresh to what made Jesus’ heart beat with an eye toward what should make mine. I am bracing myself for Holy Week and the deep dive into the suffering that Jesus endured: protest born of a passion for justice that falls on deaf ears, recognition that the powerful will not yield to reason or compassion, personal betrayal at the hands of those you love and trusted, physical suffering, horrific violence, painful death. Each year we walk this road to see again the love of God poured out for the suffering of the world. We watch as Jesus puts his body on the line for the vision God has for this world. And as we gather on Easter morning, we come with an eagerness to turn toward the light again; to be lifted up and to set our sights on new life and on hope and on the power of resurrection.

One way we do this, is to keep putting our bodies on the line for the vision God has for the world. Where can you be a sign of hope or new life for someone who is suffering? This doesn’t have to be a life altering commitment – although it could be! It can be something small and simple….an invitation to coffee for someone you know is lonely, tapping your network to point someone toward a job, saying “yes” to that invitation to join a group that is moving the needle toward justice in this community.

For me, it is equipping myself to get into ACTION around racial equity work in this community. I’ll be at the White Privilege Conference April 4-7 and have been working with Rev. Denise Kingdom-Grier to bring one of those speakers, Paul Kivel, to Holland the following week. If you can’t make the conference, or even if you can, plan to join us for his lecture and all-day training that you can read about on pg. 6.

Then in May – most likely on the morning of May 19 – Pastor Denise will be offering a follow-up for those of us who want to take our education into the realm of action. It can feel like we are never going to make any real progress on this front. But I believe in the power of resurrection. God’s Spirit is always and everywhere at work making all things new. I want to be part of that. I know you do too. Eastertide is coming – I am eager for it.

Pastor Jill