Easter, Prayers for Pastors

Into the same garden ~ an Easter prayer for pastors

Easter 2004 at Stevens Avenue Congregational Church UCC
Easter 2004 at Stevens Avenue Congregational Church UCC

How do we walk into the garden?

Some peer tremulously around the corner,
not sure what to expect.
Will the crowds come?
Has spring break taken all the children to grandma’s house?
Will the little church be full?

Some tread wearily,
weighed down by the right now grief
of death and illness in the faith community,
of bad news delivered in the liminal space
of a Holy Saturday.

Some go grudgingly,
wondering if all has been completed,
tired of administrivia
or complaints unwarranted
or wondering if maybe they are,
after all.

Some walk confidently,
trusting the musicians,
the elders and deacons,
the flower committee
and the a/v department,
and the security of many years in one place.

All wonder how to speak the Good News fresh,
to tell the story so familiar,
to find the twist in this word or that one,
to add the illustration that makes it clear
what all this means.

But here’s the wonder.
We don’t understand it. Not a single one of us.
No matter the size of our church,
or the age of the people in the pews,
or the geographic location,
or the social context,
or our years in ministry,
on Easter Sunday we all
walk into the same garden.

We find the stone rolled away,
and with awe we proclaim
what we want to believe
but can hardly imagine:

He is risen!
Alleluia! Amen.

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