Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches – Tori Valcarcel, April 6, 2021

Devotion for April 6, 2021 from Tori Valcarcel, Ministry in Context Student for CTK and HTLC:

Christ is Risen!

He Is Risen Indeed… but what about the rest of us?

Theological inquiries aside, where are we in the Easter resurrection? As I joked to a friend the other day, “the tomb is empty, and so is my fuel tank.” Christ is no longer at the tomb, but I feel a part of me is still standing at His grave feeling mournful. How do we reconcile the joy of the Resurrection with the deep pain and sorrows we carry from the past year? What do you do with emotions and experiences that seemingly don’t quite fit into the liturgical calendar?

Over a year of pandemic living has given me an appreciation for the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3:1. As with many of my favorite pieces of Scripture, it is much easier to read than to live. Acknowledging that there is a season for metaphorical sowing and reaping is a little bit easier than living the realities of joy and grief. It can also be hard to acknowledge that sometimes those seasons can overlap. A day of spring weather can quickly turn into cold rain showers, or a sweltering heat wave. The celebration and rejoicing of the Resurrection only happens after Good Friday, but that doesn’t mean we leave our grief at the grave. I love the structure of the church year precisely because it gives a rhythm to my life, but that was also what I struggled with for so long. A pattern can feel constricting if it has no flexibility, like a repetitive drum beat, or the drone of single note. Listening to Nina Simone sing the words to “Turn, Turn, Turn” reminds me of the more fluid nature of seasons, Church or otherwise.

In her voice it feels like the Spirit is whispering a reminder- the emptiness of the tomb is large enough to hold grief and joy, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, remembrance of days and people past as well as hope for the future.

I hope and pray that wherever you find yourself- by the tomb mourning or running to share the Good News- you know the comfort of the presence of the Risen Christ.

Peace Be With You,


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