About this blog: Discussing religion, spirituality and values. About the writers: Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. Janet Marshall is the religion editor for The Free Lance-Star.
As a religion reporter, I spend Holy Week focusing on the last week of Jesus’ life, which involves a lot of suffering. Personally, it was a really rough week, too, so when I got home from Good Friday services, I was pretty grumpy–which probably wasn’t the point. "Good Friday is really depressing," I muttered.
"But you know how the story ends," my husband said, referring to Easter, the happy ending for Christians.
I didn’t know why there even had to be suffering, and I didn’t really want to wait for the celebration.
Those who came turned it into an impromptu worship and healing service on the yards of the church’s group homes for adults with disabilities. By the end, the kids were the only ones not crying. First, the newcomers sang for nearly an hour, about following Jesus and the goodness of God.
A refugee read from the Bible and talked about how Jesus performed miracles in the New Testament times and still does today. I cannot imagine the faith it must take to believe in miracles when you’ve fled your country, fearing for your life, only to spend 30 years in a camp, struggling for food and still not completely safe. Then, all the refugee adults got in a circle and prayed to bless and heal the adults who live in the group homes. Afterward, a blind man with autism sang The Lord’s Prayer.
Then it was time for the Easter egg hunt and eating Easter cake. The celebration was the whole point but seemed like an afterthought. I was just grateful to spend my time before Easter with two groups of people who really help me understand the idea of resurrection.