When we gather for Easter this year some of us may be in our pajamas instead of our latest store bought outfit. Most of us will be gathered around a TV rather than an altar. Our communion bread might be cinnamon toast. Nothing will feel like a holiday or a time of rejoicing.
A friend of mine posted this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“We always used to think: it was one of the elementary rights of man that he should be able to plan his life in advance, both private life and professional. That is a thing of the past. The pressure of events is forcing us to give up ‘being anxious for the morrow’…Thinking and acting for the sake of the coming generation, but taking each day as it comes without fear and anxiety – that is the spirit in which we are being forced to live in practice. It is not easy to be brave and hold out, but it is imperative.”
As we deal with an odd threat that is invisible, often distant, and yet seemingly creeping into our neighborhoods, we must find ways to face each day without fear and anxiety.
What does that mean for Easter?
Well, it means that Easter, despite the bazaar virtual nature of its services and commemorations, will need to be embraced with a special intensity this year. It means that the truth of Christ’s resurrection will need to be proclaimed and celebrated with all the conviction that we can muster. Why? Because the promise of the resurrection is the promise that sickness and death does not have the last word. It is the promise that evil and brokenness does not win.
Roger Bennett, in a newsletter called The Raven, shared these words sent to him by a reader. I have modified them to include what I think is the only piece that matters, Christ Jesus.
“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break and all things can be mended, not with time as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is (in) you. [The light of the resurrected Christ’”]
Thank God that Easter will fall during a spike in coronavirus cases and even deaths. For it will be a deep reminder that the mending we need and the resurrection we long for is available and ever present. The power of Easter is greater than the power of a virus or economic collapse. Embrace this fact and don’t let the odd circumstance of your personal Easter celebration hinder your worship and celebration. You need this Easter more than any other year and so does everyone else.