So much to catch up on I hardly know where to start!
People I love are going through some really difficult things, but today I am choosing to focus on, and write about, the beautiful and wonderful instead.
For a pastor, the 40 days of Lent are incredibly busy, and the solemnity of the season, along with the dreariness of late winter, seems a very appropriate prelude to spring and the glorious joy of the resurrection.
It was an exhausting, but wonderful, Holy Week. It began with a festive Palm Sunday service and then a trip to another town for scripture, prayer, and Commendation of the Dying for a lifelong Christian. There was a solemn Holy Communion service on Maundy Thursday. Then a poignant Tenebrae service on the evening of Good Friday, a funeral on Saturday morning providing another chance to proclaim the hope of the resurrection, and then home to cook and clean and garden, preparing for a family Easter gathering. Then back to Blue Hill for a wonderful and festive Easter service, and back home for Easter dinner and egg hunting and supper around the fire pit and lots of fun with family.
Here's our church on Easter morning:
It was crazy, but it was beautiful! All of it. I LOVE what I do. It is a great privilege to share God's wonderful promises of hope and healing. The best thing of all was a completely unplanned opportunity to visit a dear nursing home resident whom I haven't seen for over a year due to COVID. She is not a member of my congregation and has never attended a church, but I became friends with her and have been visiting her and sending cards and notes and praying with her--and for her--for more than two years. She is ninety-nine years old and has the sharpest mind and best attitude of anyone I know. But her health is failing and she has entered hospice care. Her daughter found out I had been visiting her prior to COVID and asked if I could try to see her. I had to take a COVID test at the door but I was able to get in and we had a wonderful and precious time together, with the beautiful outcome that I had the privilege of baptizing this dear soul on that very day--Good Friday! It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
There are lots of other small and beautiful things to share--a visit from our Indiana son, James, a good heart-to-heart talk with my sister, the first cheery daffodil blooms, and good progress on our garden projects.
The most exciting beautiful news to share is that we are going to become grandparents for the first time! Our daughter, Juliana, and her husband, Jeremy, are expecting a baby at the end of August! We are so happy for them! (And excited for ourselves, of course!) They broke the news by giving me a regular "mom" birthday card and then a "Happy Birthday, Grandma" card which I thought was a joke until I saw the sonogram picture inside!
At the end of an exhausting, but wonderful, week, I am looking forward to some vacation days spent reading, gardening, and puttering around the house. Easter blessings to all of you, dear friends!