Alleluia! He is risen!
I know, cliche but appropriate. Today is Easter Sunday, the day we remember the glorious resurrection of our Lord. The day that our faith is hinged on. The day that gives us hope of new life and a gracious and loving God.
Although this year, it might not feel like it for some. This year, we aren’t together, we aren’t fellowshipping in person, we cannot physically embrace each other with our usual Easter greetings.
But it is still Easter. He is still risen. We still have hope.
In my preparing for Easter, I couldn’t help but think of the classic Dr. Seuss story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and how we can just rename that “How COVID-19 Stole Easter”. I was thinking of rewriting that classic with current situational language, but I found that my Anglican colleague, Rev. Megan Jull of St. Augustine of Canterbury parish in Toronto, already took the liberty to rewrite that last part of the story. So instead of recreating the wheel, here is her take:
It came without Vigil/It came without song
Easter can’t be like this/why this all feels so wrong
It came without hymn books/It came without flowers
It came without bells ringing loud in the towers
It came without chalice/It came without bread
It came even though the people weren’t fed
We still cannot gather/We still cannot meet
But we won’t let this virus be our defeat
God’s new life, hope, and joy/all these will not falter
Maybe Easter, we learn/isn’t tied to an altar
The tomb’s empty, he’s risen/He is risen indeed
We hold on to our faith, our promise and creed
We hold onto the story/We feed on the Word
They told us he’s risen and this we have heard
Jesus rose once for all/the tall and the small
Though churches be empty we still heed the call
Maybe Easter we learn/dwells in us and in them
May our hearts fill with joy/Let us all say amen.
So God breaking in the midst of fear and anxiety isn’t a new thing. God being revealed where it seems like all hope is lost has precedence. God showing up miraculously through our hiding behind locked doors and bringing us peace has happened before, and not just in this gospel story, but throughout history.
And for that, I am thankful. This pandemic sucks, yes, but I am thankful that we aren’t alone in it and have the technology to continue to stay connected. It is hard to not be allowed to be physically with our families and community, but I am thankful that so many (especially in Canada) have taken this call to care for others through distancing very seriously. It is tough to have lost so much through this health crisis, but I am thankful that God is present throughout this pandemic and giving us peace.
We might not see it right away. It might be hard to believe. But it is true. We have witnesses attesting to the new life and resurrection. We have people experiencing that peace on levels they didn’t know possible. We have a God who is faithful and just, and promises us peace, salvation, and resurrection.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!