Engaging the Great 50 Days

“Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” (Collect for Easter Day)

The Day of Resurrection: Easter Day is a bold reminder of the unending power of God and God alone to do the impossible. This is not merely good news. It is extraordinary news for which we have been waiting throughout Lent and Passion Week and possibly for which we wait everyday. Beyond our limited human understanding, the resurrection is the extreme example of the capacity of God to make all things new, to begin life – again. It is the historical proclamation of the mystery of faith that we offer one way or another at celebrations of the Holy Eucharist: Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.

Our thanksgiving for and celebration of the resurrection essentially is what makes us Christian. Even as we join our foremothers, forefathers, biblical scholars, believers, and non-believers alike in trying to make sense of it, the resurrection of Jesus lives at the core of our heritage and faith. More than not, I am reminded that faith is a matter of the heart and not the head, and that followers of Jesus forever will be frustrated by natural attempts to make sense of the resurrection. Instead, each of us is dared to open ourselves fully to the mystery of faith, to trust God, to see where God the Spirit might take us.

Our collective and individual engagement of the great fifty days of Easter at St. Peter’s will help our efforts to become a community of bold followers of Jesus; a place known for radical love and welcome; and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte.

In thanksgiving for Easter, may our commitment to the good variety of worship, formation, fellowship and service opportunities of this sacred place give us new life and encourage others to join us. Life at St. Peter’s always is richer when we show up for any and everything associated with parish life. Our continuation of the Easter Day energy on High Sunday: April 7 and the incredible events scheduled for that big day are bound to take us far. Mark your calendar, spread the word, and please bring others for the excitement.

Easter is the extraordinary reminder that things be made new by the power and love of God. Life is all about engagement, which is the best way to know that we truly are alive. Our engagement in the ministries of St. Peter’s is bound to create a new world and to support wholeheartedly the annual opening acclamation for the Easter season (after forty days without it): Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector