The youth at my first call had the tradition of spending the night at church for the Easter Vigil. Waiting in the dark, they each took turns praying. I also gave them the task of preparing the church for Easter Sunday. With the memory of Good Friday’s darkness, it was always a joy to arrive early on Sunday and be greeted with the sights and aromas of Easter’s resurrection. We were amazed at the resurrection that greeted us.

And now we continue with the 50 days of Easter, still hoping to be surprised at resurrection. At least I am. I want that amazement. I want the Easter good news to be good news for me and for the world. I want to proclaim that the risen Christ is with me.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

My first call was in Missouri, which continues to be home. It’s gardening season here, and I’m eager to see what comes of some hard work, sun and hope.

One extremely warm February day this winter, my mom, daughter and I brought all our gardening supplies outside to test our luck and start planting. The sun warmed us and called us to trust the light. The whole time my mom kept saying: “It really is too early.” Even though we doubted, we continued to move forward.

We planted.

We watered.

We waited.

Three days later, I saw green plants sprouting, amazed again by the resurrection that greeted me.

Who knows what will come of those seeds and plants. They may thrive or they may die. But I do know that whatever comes isn’t as important as what has already transpired. We trusted the light and witnessed growth.

The light always calls to us and guides us. This is the hope I have this Easter season and every day. A hope that bears witness to Christ’s light and presence for and with us. A hope that grows despite our doubts. A hope that reaches to the ends of the earth, not forgetting anyone. A hope that eternally surprises.

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is

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