Most of the churches are in silent mode. Easter services are limited to few faithful, who can attend the easter celebrations.
Restaurants are closed. Family members who aren’t already under the same roof will not be gathering for a meal of ham or lamb, scalloped potatoes and spring vegetables.
This Easter Sunday is very different than any we have experienced in living memory.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has shut down cities, economies and in-person social interaction around the world and casts a shadow more in keeping with the darkness of the Good Friday crucifixion than with the sunrise of the Easter resurrection.
It is a special day for more than 2 billion Christians worldwide most of whom will be worshiping through remote livestreams or even Zoom, another reminder of what the virus has done to our daily lives.
This year, the Easter message of hope and renewal. For most of us, Easter is the first major holiday we have celebrated since the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders began to constrict our lives. It is a difficult moment for many of us.
Easter is the day in which the hearts of Christians around the world quicken at the words, “He is not here; he has risen” and to respond, “He is risen indeed.”
Our Easter observance this year should be a time to count our blessings for the doctors, nurses, police officers, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, farmers, truckers and so many others who are putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our lives tolerable.
Let’s also appreciate those who have stayed at home, avoided unnecessary travel and crowds and followed the guidelines from medical experts to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Those Christians who stayed away from crowded sanctuaries this week are the ones who showed faith in the promise that “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Even if it’s on the internet and the two or three are sitting two meters apart.
Easter is not just a message of hope, but it is not less than that. We will make it through this. Do not lose faith, hold on to hope.
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