Holy Week 2021
Dear Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania,
This morning I took my coffee out to the back porch and even in the still dark of the early morning I could tell that something had changed: overnight the crabapple tree on the other side of the porch railing had burst into bloom. The buds that just yesterday were squeezed tightly shut had been worked on by the sun and the warmth of the previous spring day and- ta da! – glorious flowers, overnight.
At springtime we celebrate the rebirth of the world in flowers, in the greening of the pastures, and the leafing of the trees. All seems new again.
At Easter, we celebrate new life, too, but in a way that is more profound because the new life that we celebrate in Jesus’ resurrection is miraculous, eternal and has a reach that extends to all who believe, unto the ages.
I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26a
In a year in which we have suffered death upon death because of the Covid-19 virus (2.79 million have died worldwide at the time of this letter) the consolation and comfort of new life in the eternal and loving arms of God is succor. In a year in which we have been separated, isolated, fearful and forlorn, this promise of the power of God to make all things new offers hope. In a year that has suffered ongoing violence, discord, racial injustice and oppression, the triumph of an empty tomb is a deep promise to us that if we continue to work with God in mission, the world can change, and we can, with God’s help, see a brighter day. Nothing is impossible with God: not achieving harmony, not finding peace, not even raising the dead. All shall be made new by the One in whom all things have been made.
I pray that in this Easter’s celebration you will know the abiding love and power of God.
I am grateful for your faithfulness in this past year and delight that again, we proclaim together-
Alleluia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia.
In the Way of Love,
The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan