By Grace Van Note, a junior public relations major from Chicago, Illinois
This week’s theme: Show us how to balance celebration and grief
This week’s Scriptures: Isaiah 50:4-9a | Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 | Matthew 21:1-11 | Philippians 2:5-11
“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this,”- Esther 4:14
When I think of celebration and grief, in any other year the first thought to mind would be both Passover and Easter. The story of Easter is both the death and then resurrection of Christ. I always took away the idea that from every type of grief stems an even brighter joy. A chance to take the pain, then to learn and grow from it. While my Lutheran grandmother tried to raise me as a good Lutheran, I grew up in a bi-religious Jewish and Unitarian Universalist household. The biggest highlight of the spring for me was the holiday of Passover. The celebration of bitter freedom. Passover is the story of the Israelites and all the trials they went through to finally reach the promised land. Slavery, plagues, being lost in the desert for forty years.
There is one moment in the Passover story that I think embodies the ideas of grief and celebration best. After the Israelites had fled from Egypt and sunk the pharaoh’s men in the Nile river, the angels wanted to celebrate and break out into song, but G-d stopped them and said “are these not my work also? The work of my hands?”
I find the story of Passover to be more relevant now than ever. For in the time when we celebrate living through a plague, we are living through a plague ourselves. In unprecedented times like these, we grieve the many losses that have befallen the world, but we also celebrate. We celebrate what we can. We celebrate our families and we celebrate our successes both big and small. We celebrate making through yet another day and getting one day closer to the light on the other side. And in this time of celebration and grief we remember, this too shall pass.