Welcome to the Sunday Devotional. He is Risen!! What glorious words to hear! What glorious words to say! We’ve traveled the solemn road of Lent and today we bring out the Alleluias! Let’s share our joy with all people. Jesus is Risen! Who will you share with today?
For me, as I was shopping for flowers to contribute to our Flowering of the Cross for the Easter worship service, I shared the joy of Easter in the tender buds and blossoms and the beauty of the Easter lilies with others as we filled our carts. It lifted my spirits to fill my car with so many colors and the sweet smell of the Easter Lilies, tulips, daisies, and pansies. I pray you see, hear and smell the joy of Easter as spring evolves from our winter weather.
I teach English as a second language and have students from many different countries and of different faiths. They are hungry to learn about the United States and our traditions. We discover what we have in common and what is beautiful about our differences, and some of that covers faith traditions. Easter finds many forms in other countries – religious and secular. But one thing we did discover on the religious side – 2022 offers a unique overlap where the holy days of the world's Jews, Christians and Muslims are all happening together. As more than 1 billion Muslims fast for Ramadan, Jews will be commemorating Passover and Christians will be celebrating Easter. The world will be filled with the prayers of so many who believe in God with a steadfast faith.
Our communities are diverse and with an Enduring Principle declaring the Worth of All Persons, we can celebrate with the shared Ramadan, Passover and Easter an invitation to get to know our neighbors. Our religions may be different but our collective faith calls all of us to treat our neighbors with love and respect.
During Easter, as Christians, we celebrate the miracle of Jesus' resurrection. God loves us so much that our Creator of Life gave us Jesus, who lived and died and rose again to give us everlasting life. We have not just words of scriptural counsel, but Jesus’s life which teaches us every day to rise up against the battles of life, embrace those who are different and those who are on the fringes of our communities. Recognize the Worth of All Persons, and be responsible for working together to build a better life for all. Create a fresh world where we all love our neighbors and peace is possible.
So let all of us – all the billions of us – pray unceasingly for the blessing of peace in this world. May we also be resurrected to new eyes that behold our beautiful world and new energy to make a difference.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Author: Bonnie Barber
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Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.