Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year – an appropriate day, St. Paul would say. St. Paul wrote, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (I Corinthians 1:18). Many who do not go to church think that only fools sit behind those red doors on Sunday mornings. The message of the Cross, that Jesus lived, taught, and healed, died and rose again, sounds foolish to those who do not understand. This is what makes it difficult for us to live, teach, and heal in Christ’s name today.
On this Easter Day, we have a fabulous guest preacher, the Rt. Rev. John Rabb, former Suffragan Bishop of Maryland. +John, now in retirement, preaches at many parishes and is a Spiritual Director and a Third Order Franciscan. I am very excited that he will be with us. As always, we will have the Children’s Easter Egg hunt afterward.
Easter begins what is known in the church as the Great Fifty Days. These are the days between Easter Day and Pentecost. The Great Fifty Days is the Christian version of the Jewish Feast of Weeks – 7 weeks, or 49 days of feasting. No fasting was permitted, nor kneeling, nor any absolution. Similarly, the tradition in the Great Fifty Days includes no confession, standing rather than kneeling during the Eucharistic Prayer, and no fasting. This is the greatest feast of the church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ, the new life we receive through that resurrection, and the joy of the apostles as they beheld the risen Christ. The church is decorated in our finest paraments, usually white, and it is traditional to have many flowers during Easter Season, not just on Easter Sunday. Anyone want to bring some flowering plants for those days that we can later plant in our gardens?
Beginning April 15, our Sunday Forum will focus on Daring Greatly – letting go of fear and living a life of joy and peace. Our book will be Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World, by Susie Davis. Susie experienced on of the first school shootings in the country in 1978. Her story of loss, fear, rejection of God and subsequent renewal of faith and learning to live without fear will inspire you. The book is available on Kindle for $1.99 and in paperback for more. It may also be available at the Baltimore County Library.
On April 15, we will celebrate Vicki Sappe’s many years of chairing the Bazaar. Vicki has stepped down, and, knowing we will not be able to fill her shoes quickly, the Bazaar will take a hiatus this year as we regroup and plan for 2019. Come and help us celebrate Vicki’s leadership of this cherished event.
The following week, April 22, we will have our first Town Hall Meeting. This is a short meeting of the congregation after church to let you know of events coming up and to hear people’s comments and concerns. The Town Hall Meetings will be held quarterly.
As the Apostle Paul chose to be a fool for Christ, I pray that each of us will choose the same. That we will be able to choose not only to live for Christ but also to tell others of his goodness and love, no matter how foolish we might seem.