Dear First Baptist Church,
Pssst. . . can I tell you a secret?
This has been simultaneously the quickest and the longest Lent ever.
Quickest, because as I write this, we have just worshipped together on the 5th Sunday of Lent. Already? We are already on week #5? How did that happen, exactly? For some reason, time seems to be moving at a much quicker pace than really makes sense.
Do you feel that way, too?
And simultaneously, it has been the longest Lent, too. The longest, because as my friend, The Rev. Dr. Bradley Pace of St. John’s put it, “This whole year has been the Lentiest-Lent ever.” I couldn’t agree more.
In many ways, it feels like we have been stuck in a perpetual Lent since last March. Everything has been hard. We have been lonely and scared, ripped out of our routines, and been forced to come to terms with our own mortality. And many of us have lost someone that we love to this sickness.
But this is when we remember the gift of the word ‘and.’ It has been the longest Lent ‘and’ we know what’s just around the corner.
We know the promise of Easter. In just a few short weeks, we will gather, both in-person and virtually, to celebrate the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We will remind each other that newness of life is available to us all.
We will say to one another: “Christ is Risen.”
“Christ is Risen indeed.”
Let us each decide to do so with joy, friends. This may be the most important Easter celebration we have ever had. The year where we can truly rejoice, not because everything is back to normal, but because this year has reminded us of this truth:
“[We} serve a Risen Savior.
He’s in the world today.
I know that he is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear his voice of cheer.
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today,
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way
He lives, He Lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.” 
Friends, let us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Easter.
With Great Hope,