I've had the opportunity to love and be loved, to serve and be served, to laugh, to cry, to nurture and be nurtured. New life is springing up from the earth as people around us die. It is how this life works. Life, relationships, death. Except that death is NOT the end.
On this Holy Saturday (after preparing the sanctuary for Easter services and preparing the feast for Easter breakfast) we wait. We sit in the stillness, darkness and grief of death. We remember that the earthly life of Jesus ended on the cross.
For me this day brings me into reflection on the times in my life when I have wondered about the presence of God in my life. As I went for a run today, I looked down at my wrist.
What I saw today was this:
I saw so many reminders that no matter what I'm going through, God is with me. I could not get through this life without the presence of God in my life. Looking at my wrist, I was reminded that God is with me through the presence of many people in my life.
My RoadID (the purple band) contains my name and contact information of family members who can be reached in case of an emergency. They know they are on my wrist and have promised to be there no matter what. Thanks, family. Unconditionally, you are there for me. I don't think I thank you enough. I love you!
The purple cross bracelet is the third one of its kind, because apparently I wear these bracelets out. I love looking down and seeing the cross no matter what. That, in itself, is a reminder of God's presence with me, not to mention the friend who I know who wears one as well. She's replaced a few of these for me. Thanks, L!
The blue bracelet has been on my wrist since Ash Wednesday. It is Trinity's Lenten bracelet for this year. So many people I know (Trinity folks and beyond) have been wearing these every day this Lent. I see them at the communion railing, handing out food at the food pantry, serving on the Parish Planning Committee and other boards at church. These bracelets are showing God's love on the wrist of those who wear them as they prepare meals, give communion, fill Easter eggs and bags, shake hands, sweep floors, hand out bulletins, open doors and embrace others in hugs.
The multi-colored blue bracelet is the latest addition. An amazing, generous, smart, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit girl at church made it for me and gave it to me yesterday. Each time I see it, it makes me smile. I can't help it. It just happens. I love it! Thanks, S!
And so I got to thinking and praying as I ran. I thought to myself (and God) that there is no way I can do this thing called life on my own. I need the presence of God with every single step that I take. I need that grace and forgiveness and unconditional love from a God that loves me no matter what! And knowing that this God conquers death, offers forgiveness, grace, love and peace, for me (the real me: the imperfect, bound to make mistakes once, (if not more than once), growing, learning, trying to be the woman God created me to be: Me) is amazing.
And for me, I need this God in the presence of a community of faith. That faith community for me is found at Trinity. It's a place where I can lead, love, learn and grow. It's a place where people love me for who I am, even when I mess up, which is bound to happen. It's a place of people who are like me and not like me. It's a place where we all learn and grow together. It's a place where we help each other, keep each other in check and encourage one another. We work hard together to proclaim the message of God's love through Jesus Christ as we live, love, serve and of course, eat. Is this faith community perfect? Heck, no! But I'm not perfect, and it's good to have a place that accepts me for who I am.
On this Holy Saturday if you are waiting by the tomb with hope and expectation, God waits with you.
If you are waiting by the tomb in grief and sorrow, God waits with you.
If you are waiting by the tomb questioning or knowing all the answers, God waits with you.
We wait, and as we do, we do not wait alone.
Thanks be to God.
PS. Looking for a community that is imperfect, growing in God's grace and serving God's people? Come check out Trinity. There's a place for you. Not from around here? Look for that community of faith near you. Be surrounded by a loving God and God's loving people.
And now...we wait...