An Easter Message from Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore
Beloved Community, in these days of the Jewish Passover and Christians’ Holy Saturday, I am thinking of you, and I offer you a meditation. The meditation is Christian, arising from my tradition, but it echoes the groans of tragedy and hope in other traditions, without being the same. We are all different but we travel on Howard Thurman’s common ground. Such ground requires that each of us goes deeply into our own traditions to be formed and transformed, to be formers and transformers, and to live together as Holy human community.
Death of Hope – Flicker of Promise
Good Friday —
Personal acts of destroying others – threatened and real
Deportation of immigrants – threatened and real
Damaged recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and Syria – threatened and real
Lives cut short – Alton Sterling and Stephon Clark – threatened and real
Blockades to asylum seekers in Lesbos and beyond – threatened and real
Threats to health care, peaceful protestors, and the working poor – real each day!
Has hope died?
Has King’s “arc of the moral universe”* bent away from justice?
Holy Saturday —
Groaning pain in personal lives – tragic loss of loved ones by accident, suicide, illness
Groaning pain in the cosmos – tragic loss of ice caps, habitats, life-sustaining climate
Groaning pain in society – tragic venom toward “others” by race, class, region, religion
Groaning global pain – posturing power, ignoring potential for justice and peace!
Has tragedy become the last word?
How can we live with such deep loss?
God’s promises emerge from the tomb –
faintly, quietly, but realized and real in personal encounters with Jesus!
God’s promises ring out in trumpet blasts and loud praise –
holding the tragic while looking toward hope!
God’s promises appear –
in tiny acts of kindness,
critiques of our own practices and prejudice,
visible protests of injustice,
persistent reshaping of structures and policies,
tiny acts of kindness!
May you hold the real suffering of Good Friday and Holy Saturday
While you celebrate and live into the real hope of Easter!
Blessed Easter to you!
*Martin Luther King, Jr., “Out of the Long Night,” The Gospel Messenger, 8 February 1958, 14; Original source in Theodore Parker, “The Present Aspect of Slavery in America and the Immediate Duty of the North,” Speech delivered in State House before Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Convention, 29 January 1858.