It was Holy Week. The week of Easter. The mother of all weeks in the church. There was preparing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, eating, egg hunting and so much more. Frankly, as fun as it is, it is exhausting. So I won’t belabor the point today.
This Easter I cannot let go of the words from Luke 24:5. “…why do you look for the living amongst the dead?” I think now, more than ever, we are looking for signs of life. We are flooded with images of death and destruction from our own country and around the world. Mothers and children in war torn countries, live streaming videos of crime or self harm, the dropping of bombs, all the way down to angry emails and rants on social media. It’s enough to make you feel withered and dry and near dead.
Where are signs of life? I think it’s tempting to say that we will find them in our beautiful pictures on social media of our well dressed slightly less well behaving children on Easter or in our waxing on about our job, house, or whatever new or exciting thing has come our way. I would argue that there isn’t true life found here. Where then, will we find signs of life? For me it’s in those text messages from friends far and near who understand the daily struggle to balance all things work and church and home. It’s sending a note to remind someone that they are loved and prayed for. It should be obvious to those of us who have spent most of our lives wandering in and out of the church doors. If you lose your life you gain it. We find signs of life when we extend ourselves to another.
I sent a giving key to a fellow pastor’s wife. One of the tribe. If you don’t know about giving keys they are necklaces, with a key on them, and a word inscribed in the key. Someone who takes the time to remind me to breathe and relax sent me one. The word I sent was “hope.” It was a promise to hold out hope for my friend on the days where it didn’t seem like hope was possible. When the problems in life, the problems in church, the problems in the world seem too much.
So when you find yourself overwhelmed by all the death and deathly news that surrounds you, give away part of yourself. Make a phone call, write a note, sit down for coffee, send a token of care. Find signs of life and share them with those around you.