An Easter Message from Bishop Taylor
My siblings in Christ:
Blessings this Easter Day in the name of the Risen One. Wherever you are today, however you celebrate the beginning of Eastertide and experience the redemptive power of the paschal mystery, please know that Bishop Bruce, Canon McCarthy, and all of us at St. Paul’s Commons are praying for you this Easter, as always.
Even during the solemn days of Holy Week, Easter flowers were blooming. When I called a bishop colleague, he was out to lunch with his daughter. The senior warden of one of our parishes had traveled to the Bay Area with his spouse to babysit their grandchildren. A colleague at one of our affiliated organizations planned to spend the weekend with longtime friends, celebrating a birthday. These were small miracles, routines once taken for granted, given up for a sixty-week Lent. Hearing their stories conjured a mental image not of the Easter bunny but a turtle peeking out from under its shell after a long winter.
The gospel’s Resurrection accounts disclose that the Risen Christ signaled his disciples that he was going ahead to Galilee. They would see him where they had all worked together, perhaps even been childhood friends. It was an invitation to return to what was familiar and see it all in a new light, in Resurrection light.
This Easter, we too are being invited back to what we loved. As infections decrease and vaccinations increase, still wearing our masks and keeping our distance, may we all soon recover what we miss most about our family, church, and working lives. May we also remember those who have died and those still at risk, from essential workers in our neighborhoods to millions around the world who will have to wait months or years for the vaccine.
When Jerusalem’s exiles returned from Babylon centuries before Christ and rebuilt their temple, they resolved as well to build back better beloved community, to do better by the sojourner and all those on the margins. May our Easter resolve be the same as theirs as we return from exile and come before our altars once again. By God’s grace, the joyous work of reclaiming our blessings will make us hungrier to share them.
The Lord is Risen indeed. Alleluia!
Yours in Christ’s love,
The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor
VII Bishop of Los Angeles
The photo shows the view from St. Martin in the Fields Church, Twentynine Palms, November 2020. (Taylor).