Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Tidings

I have been receiving Easter tidings from students, friends, and colleagues from across Africa and North America, yet Ethiopia is on a different calendar, celebrating Easter (and Christmas) one week later. [They are also on a thirteen month calendar, and their time is also different - 7 am is 1 am - the day starts when the sun rises...but I digress.]  I miss these holy days with family, as well as any opportunity for quiet in preparation, but my appreciation for what God has done for me grows so deep in a place like Ethiopia that I rejoice in a different way.

I feel like words other than reflections on Easter are busy words at this time, so I go to my favorite prayer book, Guerillas of Grace by Ted Loder for his words on Good Friday:

Holy One,
shock and save me with the terrible goodness of this Friday,
and drive me deep into my longing for your kingdom,
until I seek it first --

yet not first for myself.

but for the hungry
and the sick 
and the poor of your children,
for prisoners of conscience around the world,
for those I have wasted
with my racism
and sexism
and ageism
and nationalism
and religionism,

for those around this earth and in this city who, this Friday, know far more of terror than of goodness;

that, in my seeking first the kingdom,
for them as well as for myself,
all these things may be mine as well:

things like a coat and courage
and something like comfort,
a few lilies of the field,
the sight of birds soaring on the wind,
a song in the night,
and gladness of heart,
the sense of your presence
and the realization of your promise
that nothing in life or death
will be able to separate me or those I love,
from your love

in the crucified one who is our Lord,
and in whose name and Spirit I pray


I leave for home on Ethiopian Easter and will arrive home next Monday.  I appreciate your prayers for strength yet for this last week and safe travel back home.