A note inserted in our Easter Sunday pew leaflet this morning:

The Resurrection Practice of Empathy

In a sobering opinion piece at NPR, Hanna Rosin makes the frightening observation that,

“Americans these days seem to be losing their appetite for empathy, especially the walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes Easter Sunday morning kind.”

Empathy is the rich soil in which compassion grows. A culture that has lost its capacity for compassion spawns the bitter fruit of a society poised on the edge of chaos and violence.

How do we lose our “appetite for empathy”?

We lose empathy when we retreat into small sheltered communities of common interest and shared opinion. Empathy thrives on biodiversity; it is strangled by homogeneity.

In John’s account of the resurrection, the first thing Mary Magdalene did after encountering the risen Christ, was to return to her community to share her experience with those whose experience was still vastly different.

We gather in worship because we understand that the deepest qualities of what it means to be human grow in community. We seek community because we understand we cannot survive without empathy and compassion. We gather so we might have a place in which we are challenged to “walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes” and might find ways to practice and embody the love we believe was reborn in the experience we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

God Bless you all as you, in whatever way you may, you find yourself this day celebrating the resurrection of light, goodness, truth, and beauty in your life.