A congregation of the United Church of Canada
April 14, 2021
Two things happened to me out of the blue on Saturday. One I should have anticipated; the other was pure windfall. Both of them captivated my emotions. The windfall was that as we are packing up our house preparing for our upcoming move (house, not church) we are discovering long-hidden treasures. Out of one such tucked away box I pulled some music gear, including a guitar ‘stomp box’ that I purchased long, long ago, and had kinda sorta thought I still had but hadn’t seen it in over a decade so figured it was gone. There it was – in mint condition. I’ve been playing much more electric guitar lately so I was delighted to rediscover it. I plugged it in and played it – and it sounds absolutely glorious! Out of curiosity I looked up its value on a music site. Let’s just say that ‘vintage’ pedals like that are selling for outrageous amounts of money now. I’m not selling. I’m going to play through it and savour it.
The other thing, the one I should have anticipated, was that it is the anniversary of my parents’ deaths. They died a year less 4 days apart, several years ago. For whatever reason I hadn’t noticed the dates (Sunday and today) approaching. The journey from the elation of rediscovering a lost treasure to the sadness of remembering lost parents was lightning fast, and not very pleasant. Such is life. Sometimes, out of the blue, things bubble up (or leap out) and overwhelm you. Sometimes it’s hard or sad things like grief – and sometimes it’s delightful things like little green guitar gems. It’s life – sometimes bittersweet, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful. These unexpected moments teach us and shape us.
The Easter message is about the eternal rhythm of dying to what was and rising with the new. But that doesn’t mean to close the book and forget what was. It simply means to let it go – to not hold on to what was too tightly because that prevents us from living in the now, and being open what will be. We get to take those memories and happenings with us, but they are only part of our story, not our whole story. Easter says to let go of the hold ‘what was’ has, and embrace ‘what can be’. I’m going to get a twinge of sadness and grief every year at this time. The spiritual learning is to not stay there dwelling on the past for too long. Acknowledge it, embrace it, honour it, learn from it, and then let it go again, and turn toward this glorious new day with new life and new possibilities – and new/old guitar pedals! Dying and rising. Ending and beginning. Losing and finding. Letting go and embracing the new. Happy Easter.