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Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

It can feel a bit jarring: the forty days of Lent suddenly give way to the joy of Easter. The seeds of our prayer, fasting and almsgiving burst into bloom, and we stand in wonder at the Risen Christ. God triumphs over death. And yet, for so many of us, the sacrifices and challenges of Lent seem to march on, interminable. Easter Sunday feels like one more day, just the same as the last. But it’s not. Our God of surprises beckons us forward, invites us to step into something new. And jarring as it may feel, this seemingly hidden juxtaposition between fasting and flourishing, almsgiving and Alleluia, the Spirit is still at work, still creating something new — even if we cannot yet see it.

“An Easter Prayer” by Cameron Bellm

When Lazarus stepped out of the tomb,
He was still wrapped in burial cloths—
“Unbind him,” Jesus said, “and let him go.”
What bewilderment Peter and John must have felt, then,
When they saw the linen shroud of the Lord left behind.
This was no resurrection, not as they knew it.
In that year and in this one, Jesus must have known
That we need our sorrow affirmed and embraced
Before we can enter into the possibility of hope.
He left that cloth there for us, I imagine,
To assure us that the Good Friday grief is real,
And the Easter joy therefore all the greater—
Christ unbound, so that we may also be free.
Amen.

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