1 Peter 1:3-9
A Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Reflection by Janet Derby
It is an understatement to say that Easter was different this year. Gone was the sanctuary filled with lilies and azaleas and people in spring attire and voices raised in song. Gone also was the seeing the excitement of the prospect of searching for Easter eggs filled with candy in the eyes of the children.
For me, Easter has been different for the past several years. Today is the 4th anniversary of our son, Joshua’s death. Since then, Lent and Easter have had entirely different feels to them. It feels incongruous to celebrate new life while remembering a life lost.
How do we find joy amid loss: of freedom to gather, of traditional ways of observing holidays, possibly of life and livelihood? Peter reminds us that through the resurrection story, God has given us new birth into a living hope. We see that in many ways: using technology to gather children together to sing Alleluia, creativity that comes forth when doing a virtual scavenger hunt, stories of people caring for each other even at a distance, anticipation of the time when we can again gather to worship and share the elements of communion.
No matter the circumstances, Easter reminds us that there is a dawn in every darkness.
God of Hope,
Thank you for the gift of resurrection that reminds us that amid life’s changes, you are with us. Help us to continue to live as Easter people even in times of trials. Amen.