Not all good news feels good…immediately. In the fifty days after the Resurrection, Jesus’ friends hid and thought and talked a lot — probably about their fears, and probably about what the good news really meant. Maybe this year, because we can’t celebrate Easter together in person, you might sense in a new way what the apostles may have felt during those fifty days of self-isolation.
While we self-isolate during the coming days of Eastertide, we invite you to share some good news amongst yourselves — at the dinner table, online, on a phone call, or any time. We’ll share a prompt or two each week, starting today, and we invite your response.
Interim Program Manager, Children & Families
Good News Project
This week’s prompts:
- For conversation: When have you experienced bad news that turned into good news?
- For individual reflection and meditation: Pay attention to the world around you in an Easter way. Where are you finding signs of God’s living presence today?
- Share the Good News of Christ in your life with:
- A photo you take (with or without a caption)
- A poem or prayer you like or write
- A link to a hopeful or joyful article
- A short story or essay
- Send your Good News, in any format, to ChristianFormation@trinitywallstreet.org. We would love to hear it!
For Children and Families
Good News in the House!
by Kathryn Carroll
Since the mid-twentieth century, when the comforts of post-modernity allowed for children to be more than a family asset or liability, “parenting” has become a thing. And since, in times of crisis, parents have turned to the wisdom of the kind-hearted TV experts: from Mister Rogers of the boomers, “look for the helpers,” to the millennials of today’s crisis tuning in to John Krasinski’s internet sensation, Some Good News, which launched only two weeks ago. It is not so much an escape or Pollyanna glossing of our reality, but a shared hope in sometimes countercultural but universally accepted good news.
On Easter, Christians around the world proclaim The Good News by shouting “Alleluia!” In the biblical accounts we read during Holy Week, we learn that Jesus’ good news in life had not been universally accepted. By all accounts, it is precisely what got him into serious trouble with the laws of his faith and the land. But when his friends find the empty tomb, absent of Jesus’ body, it was a sign that Jesus was alive. And they ran to share that good news.
- Illustrated Ministry and Sunday Paper Jr. worship bulletins for children.
- Virtual Egg Hunt — Visit some other churches and join in their egg hunt!
- Easter Sunrise Breakfast at Home — If you can, go outside first while it’s still a little dark. Face east. Watch, listen, and notice the signs of life.
- Print, color, and cut out Alleluia butterflies and decorate your home, or create an Alleluia poster.
Even though we can’t meet in person, Trinity Youth are still showing up for one another! Each week, Fr. Matt Welsch is hosting a weekly drop-in call along with Karla Chee-a-Tow, Jenn Chinn, and Damali Lewis. All Trinity Youth are invited to join us—whether you can stay for the whole call or just hop on for a few minutes when you’re able. Please text or email Matt for more information or to get the link so you can join the next call.
An Imperfect Easter
by Bob Scott
Easter arrives every year with cherished memories and potent expectations. From worship and music to family gatherings and food, most of us know what we look forward to. None of those things will be the same this year. And while that’s a difficult fact, it need not be a bad thing.
This past Monday, members of the Broad Way Bible Study gathered online around the Easter story in Matthew 28:1–10. Several pointed out that it starts with a major cataclysm. There’s an earthquake! The angel rolls back the stone! The guards are shaken and “became like dead men”! None of that happens in the other gospel accounts. We noted that there’s joy in Matthew’s resurrection story, but also a large measure of fear. One member asked us all to picture what it would’ve been like for the two Marys. We know the story — Easter! He is Risen! — but for them it had to be a strange, confusing, terrifying experience.
The impact of the coronavirus is as great as that of an earthquake, only playing out surreally in slow motion. Slow or fast, earthquakes break things. Last week, I heard the Leonard Cohen song “Anthem” with new ears. The familiar chorus — “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” — speaks to how the broken places in our lives are sources of growth and depth. But I’d never paid attention to the lines right before: “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering.” I realized that, if I refuse to let the thing I consider “perfect” break, I’ll miss the light that comes through the cracks.
This year, my prayer and intention are to accept the imperfections that come with this reinvented version of a day full of “perfect” traditions. I want to walk with the Marys into the unexpected and scary reality, open to the joy that shines through when holes get torn in my fixed ideas about what should be.
“Do not be afraid,” says the angel. The Greek verb is in the imperative present tense, so it means “Stop being afraid and keep not being afraid.” How is that possible? The Marys show us. They look for the light.
- Many local and global systems we’ve depended on have been broken by the pandemic. Where do you see light coming through the cracks?
- Listen to Leonard Cohen sing “Anthem.”
- The Stations of the Cross — A practice for Good Friday, a guided meditation from Pádraig Ó Tuama.
Lord, we thank you for being the source of hope and life. May we, like the women at the tomb, experience the earthquake yet stop being afraid. In this time when our fears are real, we ask that you mix them with even deeper joy. Grant us grace through your steadfast love that we may share the hope you give us with others. In the name of the Risen Christ, Amen.
The Broad Way Bible Study
Join the Broad Way Bible Study online by sending an email to BScott@trinitywallstreet.org. Bob will send you an invitation.