April 2, 2020
We are about to enter into an Easter celebration unlike any in our lifetime, or in the lifetime of our parents (and possibly grandparents). The COVID-19 Pandemic has meant many changes for all of us, and not being able to gather for worship, even on this most joyful day of the Christian year, is one of them.
There is pain in that. But there is also a reminder. In many ways, we will be spending this Easter in a similar way to how the first disciples spent the first Easter. John Chapter 20, beginning with verse 19 describes how the disciples, even after they had heard Mary Magdalene report Jesus’ resurrection, stayed inside, doors locked, because they were afraid.
What happened next? “Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” (John 19.19b-20).
Friends, the Good news of Easter, from the very beginning is that Jesus comes to us where we are, even when we are afraid. Our locked doors this Easter are no bar to his presence with us, any more than they kept him out of the place the disciples gathered on the first Easter.
So, as we begin this strange Holy Week and Easter season, take heart. Christ is Risen! Be prepared to experience Jesus’ risen presence wherever you find yourself, and be joyful. Know that our situation, as strange as it is, is not stranger than the first Easter, and that Jesus loves you.
May Jesus’ Easter peace be with you,