Eastertide Pastoral Letter 2021

Dear Miami Lakes Congregational Church members, friends, and loved ones,

May the overabundant Love and Grace of Almighty God be with each of you on this Easter Morning and every day.
On behalf of my wife, Victoria, my family, and I, your servant, we extend to each of you and your loved ones our heartfelt blessings and peace for Easter.

Despite the uncertain times we have all faced as one human family; I encourage all of us to remain in God’s eternal peace. COVID19 has demonstrated the frailty and limits of our human race and our corresponding institutions have for the most part been humbled by nature. Consequently, the present circumstances challenge each of us to
seek peace and perseverance within in order to extend the same to our respective families, communities, and nations.

As it is with these times, our spiritual lives are the most critical and essential practice to improve is necessary. Through genuine spirituality, our mental and emotional footing transforms the place we stand
in and on holy, safe, secure, and peaceful.

Although the United Church of Christ identifies with Christianity. many of our tribe may have personal journeys that have been influenced by our world’s religions. To that extent, we all can gather around the timeless archetypes of life, birth, death, and life everlasting.

This is the nature of Dharma, of the Torah, of the Quran, the Vedas, and the Gospel.

The Resurrection of Jesus is the central historic event of our particular faith. Despite the controversial texts, scholarship, books, and personal opinions on the matter, the experience of the Resurrection remains a tenet of faith. It is one that requires a personal conversation with God and the authentic search for the empty tomb. All 11 Apostles met their deaths (except John who traditions teaches was poisoned, survived, was consequently sent to Patmos) due to their unswerving belief in what they saw – Jesus had risen indeed.

A practical teaching of this tenet of the Christian faith, is that when we are struck down by life, God wants us to rise again. When we embrace the universal principles of the resurrection narrative, we see God making all things new, we have a new vocabulary for transitioning from this world to the next, and we see that we are one a sacred journey which will not end once we no longer require our mortal coils.

The sacred teachings illustrate the principles that all is cyclical, and all happens in the perfect time for which it was written to unfold. When we fall, we are to rise up to the occasion, find God and the divine light within ourselves. In this way, we will witness the transformation of what seemed dead within us rekindled into abundant life. What was dead in relationships will also be transformed into deeper ones and edifying ones.

And we also see the death of racism, hate, and ignorance, and be agents of life as we witness in Springtime – the blossoming of equality, the rising sun of justice, and the end of fear and complicity.

We know that no one is lost to God and all have a place in the Celestial Home prepared for us – even before we exited our mothers’ wombs. We shall return despite the separation from this reality, we will continue to
enjoy life perfected and strengthened for purposes beyond that which any one of us can conceive of.

We do not speak of these matters to make light of death, but rather to realize that as we engage the reality of death, we are able to live with greater purpose, joy, and meaning. We make each day and each moment within those 24 hours a significant act of praise and thanksgiving because we are so acquainted with the reality of life’s fleeting constitution and composition.

In closing, my dear sisters and brothers, practice Mindfulness. Practice the awareness and alertness of each moment and let that be enough for today. Let the worry of tomorrow take its place among the occasions of the future, but do not let it interfere with your present. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather it is doing the right thing in its very presence. Practice forgiveness, and do not let the pain of yesterday continue to have the unwarranted power it has over you today. Practice gratitude and practice patience. Be thankful for you have and wait for what you believe you may need for you may find that it was a blessing never to have received it. The best warriors are the wounded healers. The great Joseph Campbell is remembered for having said that mystics swim in the same waters that the anxiety ridden drown in.

May the waters you find yourself in be as the ones the Master walked over and may His hand lift you and your loved ones up at this time and always. God is with you even when His presence is unaccounted for. Embrace Christ now.

Peace and love to all – and may the love of God, the grace of Christ, the power, presence, and companionship of the Holy Spirit, be with each of you, your families, and loved ones – now and always,

Rev. Dr. Daniel Medina