Clergy Clatter

A number of folks have mentioned how beautiful the flowers are this spring, and they truly are. I’ve noticed that my camellia blooms didn’t get frost bite this year, and are as pretty as I’ve seen them. And the daffodils, narcissus, crocuses, and snow drops – all beautiful. There are things in bloom in my yard that I’ve never seen before. I have no idea from where they came, but they are beautiful.

I almost get the feeling that Mother Nature is rewarding us for a difficult year, reminding us that everything isn’t “pandemic glum.” There’s still beauty around us, still excitement in the renewal of life, and still hope for a better tomorrow. And that’s what Easter is all about. Holy Week and Easter serve as a microcosm for us, to remind us that life is not all superficial merriment, but neither is it all pain and misery. There is a balance, even during difficult periods such as pandemics.

A year ago, when the virus started spreading, and our churches were closed to public worship, I was so sure that it would last just a couple of weeks. How could the church not be open for Easter? It would all end in a week or two. But it didn’t. And we lived through a very difficult and isolated winter. The churches suffered right along with the schools, the restaurants, the business owners, the health care workers – everyone. And now as we begin to move out into the light and fresh air, and a season of hope, the experts warn us that it may not be over, yet. It could take another turn, resulting in the necessity to restrict our movement again, as we see in parts of Europe and South America.

But through all of those words of caution, and sometimes prophesies of despair, there are the flowers, and the budding trees, and the longer days, and the warmer weather. It’s springtime, even in a pandemic. It’s Easter, a new beginning. We may be wearing masks instead of Easter bonnets, and getting shots instead of candy, and social distancing instead of Easter parades, and doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our neighbors, but it’s Easter, and there is hope, and there is caring, and there is the love of God all around us.

Happy Easter. Stay safe. Stay well. He is risen. Alleluia.

Richard +

April 1, 2021

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A compilation of The Rev. Richard O. Bridgford’s most memorable articles from his nearly 25 years at Church of the Epiphany. Enjoy history, humor, nature, travel, and wacky experiences with Fr. Bridgford, his two-legged and four-legged friends! Recall:

  • the New Year’s resolutions he couldn’t keep
  • the year Santa’s elf delivered Baby Jesus to the creche
  • the volcano that threatened his vacation
  • sweet elderly widows and “a little afternoon sherry”

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