Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The writing of this article occurs as I am in the recovery stage of my first encounter with the flu in decades. Illness has a way of affecting our perspective. At its worst, I only focused on my symptoms and malaise. Then there was a time when I did not feel anywhere near as bad, and yet, really did not care much about what was going on around me. I was content to just sit still for several hours and just sit, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep, but with no real desire to move or engage more of the world than the chair. A fuller stage of recovery was the desire to get out and interact with the world; to broaden my sense of the world.

This month, we will celebrate Easter. In some ways, it represents the overcoming of the greatest ailment of all, death. Holy week, leading up to Easter certainly is an intense time of reflection with a narrow focus. Sin and the fragileness of our lives is displayed as the enemies ofJesus closes in on him, arrest, and execute him. It is a reflection of a sad reality of the world. It is in that setting that the sudden joy of the resurrection breaks forth. Christ is risen! We die with Christ, so we, too, may live.

Where do we go with this? Is it a gift for God’s people that we keep for ourselves for when we need it? Is it a help for us to say good-by to our loved ones and continue on? ls it a call to worship Christ another year until the call is renewed next Easter?

Perhaps none of these is completely in error, but they do not capture the full wonder of Easter. Easter reaches a fuller potential when we see past the sickness of the world and see all of God’s creation beckoning to us. We no longer need to focus on our own woes and limitations and ultimate mortality but can feel more alive in the world. We can reach out and be more fully alive and a part of it – even the uglier bits. We are no longer confined by death and limits. We are a part of a living God in a living world.

Christ is risen! This Easter, let the miracle and wonder of it work a sense of awakening and connection with the world God has given us. Let it give us a desire to be more fully engaged with others and the world; to dare to care and give of ourselves. Because whatever happens, we have found the ultimate cure. Christ is risen. Death no longer rules!

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Martin H. Horn

Palm Sunday