2017 Easter Letter
by Dean Sam Candler
Some of you heard my words on Palm Sunday, when I said, simply, “It’s about walking.” The Palm Sunday processional is about walking, but so is Maundy Thursday – when some people walk up to wash another person’s feet, when the disciples walked to the upper room for a Last Supper. So is Good Friday about walking, when we watch Jesus walk the way of the cross. Jesus walks willingly, even into suffering, in order to show the world what love is.
Easter, too, is about walking! Some of Jesus’s disciples walk to the tomb and find it empty. Others actually run to the tomb, once they have heard that maybe the body is gone.
Yes, Holy Week is really “Holy Walk.” As always, I hope you will walk the way of Christ this Holy Week. Make Holy Week a Holy Walk.
Walk with us at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Walk with us on all sorts of holy pilgrimages throughout the year. That pilgrimage may be with our youth group. It may be a trip to a homeless shelter. It may be to Haiti or to England. That walk may be to the hospital, or to a retirement home. That walk might be to next door. Christians walk wherever there is need.
When Christians walk places, we take Christ with us. And that presence of Christ, in a holy way, sanctifies the places we walk. Yes, it is fun to walk in spectacular places – like mountains and beautiful streets! But it is just as important to walk in painful places, and in places of suffering and despair. We are meant to walk there in order that Christ can touch those places.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Ultimately, Easter is just that: a “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” as Psalm 23 says.
Easter, of course, is that glorious re-emergence from of the valley of death. I pray that whatever might have died to you recently, can be re-born—in a new and glorious way—this Easter! As usual, I invite you to offer a special Easter gift, in hope and in thanksgiving for that gift of new life in you. The church needs your gifts! That is how we deliver the good news, especially to people in despair, that Christ creates new life in us.
Yes, keep walking. Keep walking, and you will emerge through death into eternal life! Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip