Learn more about who we are by following our blog, written by our pastor, preacher, and chief evangelist. Engage in the everyday sacred as Abby writes about the deep and ordinary all at once.
I’ve been wondering lately if our “Christian nation” celebrated the same holiday I did a few weeks ago. I can’t make sense of the hateful talk on Facebook and cable news from self-proclaimed American Christians. Did they really celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday?
My faith rests in the bookends of Jesus’ life: his incarnation (Christmas) and his resurrection (Easter). That God, in the form of the person of Jesus, was born to us and lived among us gives me hope for our broken humanity. That God defeated death and raised Jesus from the dead gives me hope that suffering is not the final word. Both the incarnation and resurrection are the trees between which my hammock of hope swings. And I often rest on this hammock when my burdens are heavy.
This hope has transformed my life with an expectant joy I never anticipated. In the three days
surrounding Easter I married a young and earnest couple, was present at a 92 year old’s death bed, and held a brand new, long-desired baby. Each of these beautiful life events was ripe with hope, even in a world where relationships end in courtrooms, where grief and loss are part of life, and where children die unexpectedly in their cribs. As I invited the young couple to kiss, as I stood by the deathbed, as I held the perfectly fragile infant, I was filled with an expectant hope—not empty, not wishful, but boundless. This hope was defined by a baby in Bethlehem visited by shepherds. This hope was defined by a tortured prophet who rose from the dead. This is a hope beyond reason, beyond optimism, beyond anything we should hope for. It is hope for what we cannot imagine ourselves. It is hope for God’s transformational presence in our world.
I will never understand the resurrection, just as I will never understand the incarnation. Yet the
palpable hope I get from each story has opened me to limitless possibilities in my own life, in my community—and in my nation.
An America filled with hope has no room for fear—not of immigrants or Muslims or feminists or blacks or whites or Hispanics or gays or anybody or anything. Hope only has room for love and curiosity, welcome and exploration. I pray that America—and the world—will be blessed with hope, for we have had too much of fear.
Together, may we embrace the message of Resurrection Sunday. For Jesus’ sake, for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of the empty tomb, let us trust that God’s transformational love is beyond our imagining. Hope reigns. Even in America.
Rev. Abigail A Henrich (ehm!) is an ordained minister who earned her stripes at Princeton Theological Seminary and Colgate University. That said, Abby is really a mother-pastor-spouse who lives in a kinetic state of chaos as she moves from her many vocations: folding laundry, preaching, returning phone calls, sorting lunch boxes, answering e-mails, and occasionally thinking deep thoughts in the shower. Unabashedly she is a progressive Christian who believes some shaking up has got to happen in the church.