Rev. Takouhi’s Reflection… Easter 2022

Dear Grace United Church,  

We have made a full circle once again and arrived at the most beautiful time of the year – Spring! 

Spring is not only a time that lifts our spirits with the beautiful symphony that the birds offer us, with the honking of the geese, but also gives us a feast to our eyes and senses with the blossoming of colourful flowers and scents that wake us up from a slumber.  

Easter Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full moon of Spring. This year, April 17 will be Easter Sunday, or as I like to refer to it, Resurrection Sunday. When we proclaim to each other and to the world, “Jesus Christ is Risen today” – “He is Risen indeed”. These are victorious and celebratory words that followers of Jesus have greeted one another as early as 2nd century, ( However, were the first Easter narratives so victorious? 

After experiencing this lengthy pandemic of COVID-19, I have been thinking about the trauma and the survival after losing loved ones. All those who were unable to say goodbye or to attend the funeral of their loved ones.  

Really think about it, the women came to honour Jesus in the only way they knew how when someone has died. They brought spices to the grave – but they found the tomb empty. This is a double terrifying ordeal to face. However, the story does not end there. They encountered ‘men in dazzling clothes’ (Luke 24:4) who reminded the women – in Jesus’ own words – that he had predicted his death and resurrection. The Gospel Luke makes the point to write down that, ‘Then they remembered his words’ (Luke 24:8).  

Beloved, how often have you remembered words from your loved ones, in times of terror and trauma, that have helped you carry on this journey called life? Sometimes, people may think that the Easter Narratives are idle tales of people who are utterly feeling lost. I know first-hand that Resurrection cannot be fully understood, even after completing three degrees at university, but this story helps us live through Trauma with HOPE. This is no fake news, but TRUTH telling stories.  

Today, after two years of life with a pandemic, we may not understand how we are making it through these difficult days, but something, somewhere, somehow, we are finding the ways and the courage to carry through with HOPE. The trauma of the cross and the empty tomb never disappeared from the minds and hearts of those who experienced it first-hand, just like all of us who have been living through this pandemic and all those who have lived through war understand as well, how the trauma of war never leaves those who experience it first-hand, but they find the strength to carry through their days with HOPE

Beloved, remember the words of all those who have lived lives of courage and HOPE and find the “possible” in the imPOSSIBLE of life, because nothing is impossible with God. And every single time we go to church or watch the virtual gatherings on YouTube, we are attempting to remember the words of Jesus and carry on this life with HOPE

There are different Resurrection stories in the Gospels, because NO ONE, NO ONE, can capsulate the entire, real story with one story.  This year, I invite you to join the women in the Gospel of Luke, who go to the tomb, not knowing that it is empty, and in that emptiness, they find a new way of living – a Resurrected Life that still leads us with an abundant life even after his crucifixion. 

Beloved, join the sounds and scents of Mother Nature and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Risen today and offer your life as an aroma of Grace to ALL you meet. Live in and through the Perfect Love of God and stop looking for the “living among the dead” like the ‘men in dazzling clothes’ (Luke 24: 4) informed the women.  

 I remain humbly within God’s Grace – Your Servant-Leader,  
Rev. Takouhi Demirdjian-Petro
B.A., B.Th., M.Div.  

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