Communion was celebrated at the wall that divides our two countries.
Bishop Mathes said of the service, “The service of Holy Communion was not designed with a wall in between the communicants and the bread and wine.” Those gathered on the Mexico side included Mexican Episcopal clergy, resident Mexican members of the diocese, and the children of the diocesan-supported orphanage called Dorcas House. A friend of mine who knows thechildren said of the event, “We could hear the children, but we couldn’t see them.”
The theological significance of Easter tells me that the barrier between death and life has been torn down. The tapestry in the Temple that separates the people from the Holy of Holies is torn in two at the moment that Jesus dies. When he came back to life, he made a way for us to cross over into paradise. He tells us to no longer fear death. As the Apostle Paulwrites, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55 – quoting theprophet Hosea, 13:14)
Yet as we celebrate the boundary-breaking season of Easter, I am cognizant of boundaries that still exist in our life and time. There is the boundary of language, of skill, of gender, of wealth, of beauty, of education, and of course, the boundary of country-of-origin. I don't wantto rain on the Easter parade, but we still have work to do to make the joy of Easter break down other walls in our society.
We could hear them but not see them.
For me, the personal significance of Easter is the Kingdom of God. Easter shows us that God's Kingdom is open to all. It is in this season that we hear the Kingdom but cannot yet see it.
The children that could be heard on the other side of the wall reminds me of what the Apostle Paul wrote, “That for now we see in a mirror dimly but later we will see clearly, face to face.” (1Cor 13:12) That, to me, is the mystery and hope of Easter. We can hear the Good News, but later on, in the Kingdom of God, we will see one another as we reallyare - face to face.
Easter is a season when we start to hear and see the Kingdom of God. By offering gifts cards to the homeless teens in the North County, we are beginning to see through borders. Our Knit Wits who make much needed blankets and hats for newborns in our community show that the border-crossing Easter season is already at hand. When I see our Men’s Group welcome the “other” into our circle last week and offer a needy man taxi fare home, I see the springing up of the eternal Easter season. The way that members of Grace openly welcome one another and embrace the stranger in ourmidst – it shows that Easter is here and is near.
May you hear the voices of those in need, and respond inlove this boundary-breaking season of Easter,
- Fr. Dave