A lot of people are very worried at the moment, both about coronavirus itself and about the impact that widespread illness will have on everyday life and on economic wellbeing across the world. And no doubt it will get worse before it gets better.
So against this dark background I am thinking about the great Christian festival of Easter. Traditionally the church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus in a great blaze of light and joyful sound. Life is stronger than death and we want to proclaim it from the housetops. The light is carried into church with the proclamation “He is risen” and the response “He is risen indeed, Alleluia!” This year we will not be able to gather together and it will seem very strange. So does that mean that the Easter message has nothing to say to us today? Not at all! When we celebrate although we recall it in the light that extraordinary event actually happened in the dark.
The Bible tells us that “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark Mary Magdalene came to the tomb” and she found that it was empty. Jesus had already risen from the dead. His resurrection came about while the world was still in darkness. We can take comfort in that and find courage. God is there in the darkness with us working out his purposes, rescuing humanity from death, pain and hopelessness. It is precisely when we are in those dark places that we need to know that he is there, that we are not alone. We do not have to stay in the darkness. We can welcome the dawn, the light, and the Easter message which tells us that:
Good is stronger than evil,
Love is stronger than hate,
Light is stronger than darkness,
Life is stronger than death
Victory is ours, through him who loves us.
Meanwhile if we are still in the shadows we can reach out to help and support one another through whatever difficulties and hardships this time may bring. Let us not allow ourselves to be dominated by fear but come together to be people who live in the light.
A Joyful Easter to you all