Click here for transcript
12 April 2020
Easter Day

Dear Followers of Christ Jesus: 

Today, in our celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over death, we are discovering this year maybe more than previous Easter Days our need for gentleness and kindness.

For me, the call to be gentle and kind means trusting that what we are doing right now — staying at home — is the best way for us to celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.

All of us are eager to gather in our churches, to celebrate the Eucharist, and to be with our friends and families. Yet, in staying at home our collective gentleness and kindness will mean, literally, more of us shall live. 

When the Queen of England addressed her nation last weekend she said:

"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

We will meet again. 

As you celebrate Easter in your homes, maybe Rainer Maria Rilke ’s poem Birdsong will evoke in you not only gentleness and kindness but also the truth that we will meet again. What a day of rejoicing it will be!
Birds begin their calls to praise.
And they are right. We stop and listen.
(We, behind masks and in costumes!)
What are they saying? A little report,

a little sorrow and a lot of promise
that chips away at the half-locked future.
And in between we can hear the silence
they break—now healing to our ears. 

Behind our masks and behind this sorrow is a lot of promise, and an unlocked future.

Faithfully in Christ,
The Right Reverend Thomas J. Brown 
Bishop, The Episcopal Church in Maine