When we look back on all the Easters we’ve experienced, Easter 2020 will definitely be one of the most memorable. Not because of the celebrations, the potluck brunch, the choir cantata or the children’s Easter Egg hunts, but because of the absence of these activities. We will do everything differently this year and it will feel strange. But this just may be the most biblical Easter we’ll ever have.
In the gospel of John, Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb and was surprised that the body of her teacher was gone! A man appeared to her outside the tomb and, as she was crying, he comforted her and blessed her, and she realized that he was Jesus! “Do not hold onto me,” he told her, and he instructed her to go tell the disciples what she’d experienced. Jesus appears where we least expect him and sends us to tell the world the good news of his resurrection!
The disciples were also in a familiar situation. In an article in Christianity Today, author Daniel Harrell writes: “The first Easter found the most faithful huddled away from their congregations, hiding out with a different fear. Instead of a pandemic, the disciples were afraid of the religious and political authorities who’d crucified Jesus and were likely coming after them too. Perhaps they also feared Jesus. After all, they’d sworn never to deny or disown him, but when everything went south, they’d scrambled and fled, leaving a small group of women to keep the faith afloat. And now Jesus was loose! The disciples’ socially-distant hideout proved a bad barrier. Jesus appeared in their midst (John 20:19–21) to forgive and to bless and, a few weeks hence, to empower with his very Spirit.” (Daniel Harrell, “An Easter Without Going to Church” found on https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/easter-without-church-covid-19-coronavirus.html)
No matter where we are, Jesus finds us. Whether we are in our church pews dressed in our finest, or in our homes wearing our pajamas, Jesus finds us, forgives us, blesses us and charges us to reach out to others to share the good news.
Even as we celebrate Easter in a new way this year, Jesus will Rise! As a church community, we will mark Easter with a special video worship. It will be posted on our website, Facebook page and on our You Tube channel. And WHEN we are able to gather together, what a great celebration we will share! That day will be a different kind of resurrection – a resurrection of our community!
May God bless you and your families this Easter and always,