(Ardell) I am sitting at my desk, in the office of our apartment in Santo Domingo. There are no cars driving by which means very little black soot goes into the air and enters the apartment. We have been apartment bound since March 17th, receiving news 3 days ago that we will continue to be apartment bound until May 6th…….and then, “We’ll see.”
I walked after the curfew let up at 6:00 am. There were a handful of folks out. Garbage is piling up. I can’t remember the last time the garbage trucks went by. Yet it’s a sunny day and the birds are singing.
It’s Easter morning. Holy week is traditionally an opportunity for everyone to travel to their villages of birth and to the beaches surrounding the country. It’s a week full of celebrating and partying. In the past as we’ve walked to church, we’ve seen children in plastic swimming pools that have been set up in the streets. They’ve also blocked off major roads in the past, deposited sand on the road and set up huge plastic swimming pools. Our Executive Secretary, who is the bishop of the Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana has had the tradition to volunteer for civil defense duty along the beach in his hometown. He tells us the purpose is to try and keep people safe from drowning. He also watches for opportunities to share the Easter message with folks.
Today is very different. No one is meeting for church, there were no sunrise services. NO one is permitted to travel anywhere. People are respecting social distancing. They are worried about one another.
One of the pastors from the IED church who lives across the parking lot from us has been opening up his tiny patio to play hymns and share a message over a loud speaker every day at 5:00 pm when the curfew begins. The pastor I work with on a daily basis, Reverend Betania and the other pastors of the IED church have worked hard to try and connect their congregants over social networks eg Whatsapp. They are doing that today also.
Gord and I have been having our devotions from the book by Brian McLaren, “We Make the Road by Walking.” What an excellent reflection and challenge this has brought us:
Maundy Thursday and the profound experience the disciples had with Jesus at the Last Supper, Jesus calling his disciples friends and then washing their feet.
Then Good Friday, Jesus suffering and death, with the heading of this reading being, Everything must Change!
“God is not revealed in killing and conquest…in violence and hate. God is revealed in this crucified man- giving himself to the very last breath, giving and forgiving. And there could be no other way to show us what we are truly like. We do not know what we are doing, indeed. If God is like this, and if we are like this…everything must change. Everything must change. “ taken from page 160
When I have had the privilege to write a children’s lesson, I try and challenge the children with what this means to them today, in their reality. What their response could be and how we are called to be in commitment to God’s love every day.
Easter Sunday is life changing for all of us.
Today is a day to rejoice, in the midst of our reality of suffering and doubt. We do not have to fear. We are not alone. We can have the courage to make the changes that are vital for life!
“When we remember Jesus, we are making space for his body and blood to be reunited and reconstituted in us. The risen Christ is with us, among us, and within us-…..This is what it means to be alive. This is what it means to be in route, walking the road to a new and better day. “ page 170
In Ezekiel 37: 1-14 dry dead bones heard the word of the Lord, rattled, bone to its bone, received the breath of the Lord God and came to life. They stood on their feet!
We can too! Let’s do it together.
The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!