A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Easter 2022

I am the resurrection and the lifeJohn 11:25

Dear Friends,

This is our first Easter together. How exciting that is! Looking back at John 20: 1 – 29, we have the wonderful story of Jesus appearing first to Mary and then to the disciples. Over the past two years with a raging pandemic, I think we can all appreciate Mary’s feeling of being utterly alone. We can also well understand the disciples locked in a room together for fear of what might come at them from the outside. We have felt locked away and isolated too.

Now, Spring has come with new life and Jesus, the resurrection and the life, comes yet again, honored in our worship and our remembrance. May we celebrate together for all Jesus does for us. May we take heart in the fact Jesus does not mind being mistaken for the gardener when we are distraught. After all, Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We may also be assured that when we lock ourselves away in our fear, in our darkened chambers, those locks, that fear, those chambers will not keep Jesus away from us. Jesus comes for us, bringing peace and the Holy Spirit.

We may also rest assured, Jesus comes for all of us. When Thomas came back to the locked room to find the fearful disciples he left behind replaced with giddily joyful disciples, he thought they had lost their minds. It stung him to hear that he may have missed a great moment and in his frustration and pain he declared he would not believe Jesus had returned unless certain proofs were made. How well we can all understand Thomas’s frustration! And yet, Jesus came back for Thomas too, happy to offer up the proof Thomas was looking for. Jesus offered Thomas peace and a powerful new perspective.

May we be heartened by these stories relived this year. May our hearts open up like blossoming tulips and may our joyful worship be as fragrant an offering to God as this year’s Easter lilies. May we all rest assured that Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life. May we share joy together that Jesus comes for us wherever we are to be found, in whatever condition, and brings both peace and the Holy Spirit for us all.

I look forward to all we will do together this Easter and throughout the rest of the year.

Rev. Jeffrey B. Snyder

Photo by Alli Remer on Unsplash