I'm sure your local pancake house, bakery, bagel or donut shop does. No crowds of happy and hungry folks seeking to keep the joy going when they leave their spiritual gatherings. And there are so many more who show up on Easter morning to share breakfast tables and good feelings.
For Christians, Easter is not just a day; it's genuinely a season that lasts far longer than Christmastime. Forty days of celebrating until Pentacost Sunday align with the ancient Jewish festival by the same name — or Feast of 50 Days after Passover.
Forty days after the first Easter, the church of Jesus Christ was born. And some people began to dramatically change the way they lived. In fact, besides the beautiful music, one of my favorite parts of Easter is reading about the early church, just after Jesus departed this world. His command was to "love one another." And so they did.
"All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people."
(Acts of the Apostles 2:44-47)
Imagine living in a community like that, where everyone shares everything. In fact, the early church was so tight, its members lived communal lives.
Now imagine my joy when I read this on a street pole in my Chicago neighborhood:
"Need Help? Want to help? Logan Square Mutual Aid is here for you. This pandemic has hit us all hard. We are your neighbors reaching out to help.
If you need: food, prescriptions pickup, caregiving, medical supplies, or help and community in general we are here to give it.
"If you can give: Your time, your expertise, your resources, your voice, we would love to have you help out."
I had to call the number at the bottom of the flyer. The voicemail recording welcomed me in English and Spanish, inviting a phone number and my specific needs. If you visit the Web site you can experience the love: www.logansquaremutualaid.org
"In the midst of a global pandemic and recession, the best and most effective thing we can do—apart from social distancing—is to be there for each other". That's the essence of Logan Square Mutual Aid.
Today, so many are looking for answers. For hope in the face of confusion and lives lost. And they feel helpless with no where to go.
COVID-19 has closed temples, mosques, synagogues and churches worldwide. Believers are cut off from each other. Unable to gather to celebrate Easter and its promise of salvation and new life. A life based on unconditional, universal love.
Yet in Logan Square, Chicago, the spirit of the first Christians is alive and well and experiencing a resurrection.