Despite the current suffering of the world around, I’ve felt an inner joy throughout the Easter weekend. It’s not that I’ve shut out the painful cries of humanity. I still care very deeply. But I’ve continued to walk with a swagger and a strut. And I still do my daily exercise routine on the clothes airer. Because in all of the current darkness, I sense a great light…..
We’ve all experienced a very strange Holy Week. Normally, millions of humans around the world would have been flocking into their local churches to pay witness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And yet, those heavy old church doors have remained locked and bolted throughout. Instead, humans have been largely confined to their homes. In many cases, people have just spent Easter separated from their loved ones and special friends, or maybe grieving for those who have been taken by the virus.
The church is normally the very place to which we turn in a time of crisis. But the current lockdown means we find ourselves in a strange kind of limbo, rather as the world must have felt on that original Easter Saturday, caught between Jesus’ death and resurrection. But I hope that’s not a place in which we are stuck. Because Easter doesn’t just belong to one specific time of the year. We should be living and breathing the significance of Easter every day of our lives. And although those church doors may be firmly shut, during this crisis, we are being given an extraordinary opportunity to unlock and unbolt our hearts and souls to let God and Jesus in…….
For now, “the church” has to be inside each one of us. Because God and Jesus can be with us wherever we happen to be. On Good Friday, on Easter Day, and on any other day of the year. In our thoughts, our actions, our questions and our prayers.
And that’s what appears to be happening right now in so many places around. Humans, many of whom are not so used to praying, are beginning to turn to God and Jesus in prayer. Prayers are being said for individuals and loved ones; for the amazing army of selfless medics and care workers; for the sick and the grieving; for the frightened and the lost. Even our politicians are referring to prayer. Many hearts and souls are being laid bare to God and Jesus for the very first time. So many humans are looking out for their loved ones and neighbours and friends in a way that would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. Our churches may have been closed for Easter, but the spirit of God and Jesus has rarely been more alive amongst the people of the world……..
One five year old boy was recently heard to say that “the world is currently having a rest.” And how true his words are. The world has been jolted out of its normal rhythm and pace. Many humans have been stopped in their tracks. And they are being given an opportunity to look beyond the superficial norm.
As the world around us continues in chaos and suffering, we all need to remember that the only lasting peace and stability comes not from this world, but from God and Jesus……
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
His spirit is truly the light in our current darkness……..