A different sort of Easter

Soon enough we’ll hear somebody say, “Christ is Risen!” and we will respond, “The Lord is Risen Indeed!” This happens each Easter and has for centuries. But this Easter will be unlike any in modern memory. This Easter an unwanted guest, COVID-19, has joined us.

Bunnies and Eggs – symbols of fertility… why do we have them for Easter? Hint: it has to do with springtime…

With this virus comes a whole raft of fears and health measures, none of which seem likely to enhance our experience of the Risen Lord.

At the same time, COVID-19 certainly has no power over Jesus, over resurrection. Things on the surface may be very different, but somewhere deep, Easter will be Easter.

Every crisis is an opportunity, so you never want to waste a crisis. COVID-19 is a crisis. So is Easter. During Holy Week we remember a series of terrible events in which Jesus is betrayed by those closest to him, abandoned, even denied by those who love him best. Eventually he is not just killed but killed in the most horrible way that human minds could devise. Our annual keeping of Holy Week and Easter is, in part, a way for us not to waste a crisis. Perhaps in the spirit of Easter we can find a way not to waste the crisis of COVID-19.

It is understandable that many of us wish that everything would just go back to normal… the way it used to be… For those of us who live with a fair amount of comfort and child povertyprivilege, this is a reasonable desire. Our lives were better, and we’d like that back. But for those who were living in miserable conditions, in starvation, in desperate poverty, in despair, there can’t be the same desire for things to go back to normal.

The truth is that “normal” seems to include a great deal of injustice. “Normal” can include a staggering degree of greed and hoarding, while tolerating a shameful degree of suffering. “Normal” appears to assume that it is OK to use vast amounts of resources for the comfort and pleasure of some while leaving others with nothing and severely degrading the planet for those who come after us. Jesus calls us to live in love with our brothers and sisters, but honestly, that is not “normal”.

The message of Easter does not call us to return to normal, to the way things were before the crucifixion. Easter calls us to be transformed, to be made new. Jesus is transformed by death and resurrection so that the disciples have a hard time recognizing him. We are not, most of us, called to endure what Jesus endured. But we are called to be transformed by this Easter event.

I find myself thinking that COVID-19, which has brought our modern world to its knees, is offering an opportunity for transformation as well. This will not be easy or fun, just as

an impression of the virus – many times larger than actual…

the events of Holy Week are not easy or fun. But this present moment in time is challenging us to consider what is truly important. That is very different from what we find appealing or desirable. This present moment reminds us that our mighty engines of commerce have very little power over something as tiny as a virus. In this moment can we learn something about humility and compassion?

This virus will have its time and then it will pass. What it will leave in its wake we do not yet know. But it is a crisis, and with God’s help, this crisis can transform us and our society to be more just and loving. This will be a truly blessed Easter.

One thought on “A different sort of Easter

  1. Thank you, Scott, for your uplifting message, a blessed, refreshing word for all of us sequestered around the world, not knowing what lies ahead or for how long the challenges presently facing us will be here. May you be kept safe with your brothers there in Volmoed.


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