Easter, Even Now

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

Easter, Even Now

Beloved in Christ,

I’m traveling back to Minnesota today after spending the past seven days on retreat with the House of Bishops at Camp McDowell, Alabama. Last week, we visited the Legacy Museum, which details the horrific history and ongoing legacy of slavery in this country, and heard from author Bryan Stevenson, who has committed his whole life to helping us confront this legacy. 

We were also joined by writer and professor Sophronia Scott. Her time with us was powerful and transformative, and I cannot recommend her work highly enough.  Most of us carry what she calls an “immortal wound,” some pain or loss we have suffered that still drives much of what we are searching to reclaim. The life of faith is about learning how to hear the way in which the good news of Jesus offers a healing touch directly to these wounds. It’s a way we learn how to experience pain and healing, grief and joy, life and death, Good Friday and Easter, all at the same time. 

Most of us spend a lot time running away from what is painful in our lives, finding different ways to escape, or building up walls of defense around ourselves. Following Jesus is always about facing the pain in our world, and in our own hearts, without fear, knowing that leaning into the painful points and telling the truth is the only way we can know the fullness of life and love God promises. 

Lent is a season when we are invited to confront the full truth about who we are: sinful, broken, wounded, and falling short. But we don’t confront those truths to wallow in guilt, shame, or despair. We do it in order to discover over and over again what is truly good about the good news, which is that we are still endlessly beloved children of God. We didn’t earn that and we cannot lose that. When we hear it, feel it, and claim it in how we show up in the world, we find that our wounds are not anesthetized, but rather transformed, so that instead of wounding others, we are set free to join God’s project of blessing, healing, and liberating the world with love. 

Lent is not a small thing, dear ones. It’s part of how we strengthen the tether between our own hearts and God’s mighty power to save. We can always see Good Friday everywhere we turn. But Easter is even now all mixed up in it, springing forth out of the very wounds that double us over and overpower us. And we, all of us, are called to be Easter leaven in the midst of a world caught in a perpetual Good Friday. What an astonishing gift, what a treasure we steward together. 

Grace and peace,

The Right Revered Craig Loya
X Bishop