Dear South East District Friends,
It is a joy to write to you as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the new life of resurrection hope that we each receive anew this season. Hallelujah, the tomb is empty!
Friends, we have each experienced an empty tomb in this last year. We have each come to grips with a place in our lives that is dark, damp, isolated, and without light. We have spent time there alone. We have wept. We have cried out.
Beloved, we have each met Jesus in our dark, damp, isolated place. We have received his light and hope. We have felt his embrace and it has consoled us. Likely, it has not fixed us nor our problems. It has not “made everything better.” For many of us, life is still quite difficult and dark.
Yet, Jesus is with us. We feel his embrace. We remember he also spent time in dark, damp, isolated places. We remember that ultimately, the tomb was found empty. New life emerged. And new life will emerge for us.
The world, and our churches, need us more than ever in this season of resurrection hope. Our neighbors need us to be more generous and kind. Our communities need our churches to be more welcoming and hope-filled. Our world needs us to show what the love of Jesus in “plain clothes” really looks like. We can do this. We can be the face of resurrection hope in our communities and far beyond.
Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on Big Pine Key for their two Easter services. Part of my visit was to also see several of the restoration projects that have taken place since Hurricane Irma. This work is incredible. The amount of resources and labor that have been put into piecing people’s lives and homes back together is indescribable. This is the work of resurrection hope – walking into a dark, damp tomb and emptying it with God’s good news.
My prayer for our district churches this season is that we live the message of Easter in real and tangible ways. In the midst of crisis, people look to us for hope, understanding, and joy. May we provide just that to a world in need. Happy Easter, friends!
Grace and peace,
Cynthia D. Weems