By the Rev. Dr. Kristy Coburn
Another pandemic-style Easter? Who could have imagined two years in a row? Some of our sanctuaries are now open and faith communities are meeting in person, but there are still limitations. It is strongly suggested that we not sing, pass peace, share communion, or hold coffee hour, in order to continue to keep all who attend safe and healthy. So Easter, once again this year, will be different.
The good news is that one full year after our first pandemic Easter, we are beginning to see life emerge out of this dark night. We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, but we are beginning to see glimpses of hope. And isn’t that what Easter is all about?
Easter is indeed about hope. And this year, we hold tight to that hope – hope that the Hallelujah Chorus will continue to bring joy to our ears and our hearts, hope that the lilies and the tulips and the daffodils will continue to bloom and spread their cheer, hope that children will still delight at Easter eggs and bunnies, and above all, hope that Christ will once again rise from the dead, proving to the world that love is stronger than death and that new life is indeed always possible.
Imagine the disciples on Saturday – the day after Jesus died, the day before he rose. How sad and confused and heartbroken they must have been. How they must have longed for earlier days, when life was normal. How they must have felt lost, not knowing what the future would look like. It’s all too reminiscent of what we’ve been through this past year, longing and wondering, feeling bewildered and distraught.
And then, Jesus rose from the dead. The light of the world emerged out of the dark night, giving hope to all that new life is always possible. The power of Jesus’ resurrection was able to give the disciples the hope and strength they needed to move forward so they could spread his message of love to all the world. And if we allow that light and strength and hope into our hearts, it can do that for us today too.
My prayer for you this Easter is that you will open your heart to the hope that the resurrection gives us, even in the midst of a pandemic. May you embrace the strength and hope that your faith gives you this Easter and always.
The author is the pastor of the United Church of Christ in Abington