Notes from Jan

Pure Easter

April 17, 2020

Last Sunday was one of my favorite Easters ever.

It felt like deep down joy took a seat and stayed.

So much was different.

Since I haven’t been to the grocery store in over a month,  no Easter Lily perfumed the air.

Nor did I put on a new outfit or sport a fresh haircut for Easter.

No grandchildren hunted Easter eggs, though in early March I bought chocolate peanut butter eggs for the Grands. I consider it one of the hidden perks of social distancing that they’re in Ipswich and the eggs are here.  I love a good egg.

Because they closed churches, we, like many,  connected through zoom.

To  keep our distance meant eat alone or zoom together, which our family did table to table and coast to coast.

Sometimes I sense a holy hush, pockets of peace in this place, in me.

Easter’s leftovers.

Remember the story of the first Easter, recorded in the Gospel of John?  “Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.”(John 20:1, NLT)

That first Easter and our traditional Easter Sunday’s come and gone but for many places around the world, it’s still dark. Today  women, men and children weep because of someone who’s died during this pandemic and they’re not sure where they’ve been put. Jesus, the Man of Sorrows weeps with you.

This living Jesus,  comes into our darkness, like He did for Mary.  It’s a mystery but I’m one of those who thinks too -good -to- be -true is True, when it comes to the resurrection.  This resurrected Christ still surprises people by showing up in unexpected places.

Jesus  may come wearing a mask so no one dies alone.  He rides in ambulances, stands in unemployment lines, teaches children, packs food for the hungry.  Jesus walks hospital corridors, sits by bedsides in nursing homes, researches with scientists, stacks shelves. And sometimes He’s even mistaken for a custodian, trash collector or homeless person.

So maybe this is the biggest reason why I loved this Easter so much.  Jesus kept showing up in so many disguises, easier to see without all the usual  store-bought trimmings, trappings and stressed-out schedules.

This was Pure, organic Easter, no harmful additives.

Just Jesus.












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  • Reply Jim Trent April 18, 2020 at 5:45 am

    Yes! Thank you.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 10:35 am

      You’re welcome, Jim. Peace to you and your family in your corner of this country.

  • Reply James Griffin April 18, 2020 at 7:10 am


    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 10:38 am

      To someone in your household or virtually, you may be the face of Jesus this day, James. What a privilege and joy.

  • Reply Raquel April 18, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Jesus is our hope and ‘hope does not disappoints’! Thank you, Jesus! Love you, MamaJan

    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 10:30 am

      How wonderful to hear from you, Raquelita, all the way from Rotterdam. Love always to you, Steven and Lilly . You bring to mind some of the special Easters we shared together at Wilson House. MamaJan

  • Reply Dale April 18, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Thanks Jan,

    One of my colleagues is Greek Orthodox and today is Lazarus Saturday in her tradition. I have often wondered what Jesus did on Saturday. Perhaps, he was reminding Lazarus the next resurrection would be the last one he would need.

    Blessings for using your gifts for our comfort and His glory.


    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 10:33 am

      One of my Greek friends reminded me tomorrow is their Easter. I never heard of Lazarus Saturday..great reminder of what God did, can do and one day, will do for all God’s children. You always add something instructive or humorous, Dale. Both are needed and appreciated.

  • Reply Ann Menzie April 18, 2020 at 9:23 am


    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

      What I love about “amen” is, for me, it means whatever I’ve said, prayed, done is dropped in God’s lap and that’s that. Peace to you this day,Ann, as you bring whatever or whoever to the lap of God’s tender mercies. Amen

  • Reply Valerie McCoy April 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Our Orthodox Easter has always been so complicated….who’s going to roast the lamb on the spit outside
    (poor thing), who’s going to make all the desserts, who is going to host the midnight dinner on Holy Saturday, who is going to take all the girls for their Easter bonnets, and who is going to read the Easter story?
    So what is so glorious about this pandemic Easter? No distractions.
    Nothing to interrupt the holiness, the joy, the exuberance of entering into the Resurrection that was promised and yet we were always too busy to stop. breath. weep. rejoice. Now my full attention went to the unspeakable gift!
    I love this Easter!!

  • Reply Jan Carlberg April 18, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Me, too, Valerie. Once this virus is controlled, I hope everything does not go back to “normal.” We need God’s new more than our normal. May you find God’s new in your Easter “basket” tomorrow.

  • Reply Sandy Young April 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Dear Jan,
    I am hoping to have found the Jan Carlberg whose mother was Margaret Jensen.
    If so, I would love to share how your mother’s books impacted my life.
    If not, may you have a blessed day. I enjoyed reading your blog.


    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 20, 2020 at 10:35 am

      Yes, I am that Jan and you would be one of my mother’s many fans. She blessed many people around the world and I’m grateful to have called her, “Mama.”

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