About a month ago, when social distancing guidelines first started being established, I don’t think many of us could imagine that Easter would end up being affected. We were looking at life in two-week increments, learning to adapt to a new normal, and avoid most of our long-term planning. April seemed like a whole other month, and March was never going to end, so there didn’t seem to be much point in thinking about Easter.
Yet here we are, one day away from the Easter weekend. Many of us who would normally travel to see family members have had to accept that the trip won’t be happening. Our yearly celebrations in church congregations have turned virtual. For many of our essential workers, there won’t even be a day off. And several of us may be especially impacted, as we worry over family members and friends who are suffering from COVID-19.
It seems odd that in a time of so much stress and fear, we might be preparing for a day we associate with joy. We remember, however, that the original Easter weekend did begin with the darkest morning ever known. Jesus’s friends and family had despaired at the cross, felt abandoned as they lay him in the tomb, and hid out within their homes as they waited for the next step in God’s plan. Sound familiar? It’s easy to forget how Jesus’s followers might have felt immediately after his crucifixion, especially as we have the benefit of hindsight, which tells us that their suffering would be temporary and that Jesus would rise again.
As Christians, we live in an Easter morning everyday. We live with the hope of revival, the promise of eternity. We live with a Christ who once carried our suffering and now stands beside us. And so, as we enter this Easter weekend, whether we’re working on isolating, I encourage us to take time to honor the miracle that happened.
- Disconnect — In the midst of binge-watching and working from home, take time away from your technology and media input. Turn the televisions and laptops off, set the phones to silent, and just sit in the quiet for 20-60 minutes.
- Reflect — It’s fair to say we’ve all been through a life-changing experience this year, and some of us may have encountered more than one. Search your heart during these quiet moments. Consider how your life has changed since last Easter. Think on how you’ve grown, how you want to continue growing, and how you hope to continue between now and Easter 2021.
- Reconnect — As you come out of this time of disconnection and reflection, reach out to those who have made your year special, those you want to continue to keep close, or those who could use a little extra care and attention during this time. Make a phone call, write a letter, or have a Google Hangout (it only takes a minute to make a Google account!). Stretch yourself. If you usually reach out to one person, reach out to three. If three sounds easy, contact five!
Now, while we’re feeling unseen, alone, and worried, this is the time for us to enjoy some time of quiet, to take stock of our own souls, to join together (digitally), and to support each other even more. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected; comment below to let us know what you’re celebrating this Easter, or how we can pray with you.