Every year on the Sunday after Easter, we read from John chapter 20 and hear again the appearance of our resurrected Lord to His disciples. Every year, whether it is in the midst of a pandemic and you are watching church from your living room or you are sitting in church with your family, we get caught up in the story of doubting Thomas and his desire to poke around in the holes of Jesus’ hands. It is a powerful text, from which we get perhaps the greatest confession of faith ever spoken.
Many have lamented the fact that Easter has fallen during this global pandemic. Plans have been ruined, celebrations are cancelled, and reunions get pushed off to a later date. I do not get to preach to your faces and miss seeing the reactions, the smiles, the tears, and the confusion at times, as I proclaim the Word of God.
He is risen! Now is the time to rejoice and celebrate. Although it might seem a little strange today, to attempt a celebration of victory over death when everyone is isolated in their own homes, for fear of a deadly virus. Church gatherings are replaced with individuals streaming at home. Family dinners are reduced to lonely leftovers. Laughter of the kids in their new Easter clothes hunting for eggs now looks like antsy children in their pjs, bored with the at-home schedule just like yesterday.
Saturday is the pause between the dark pain of Good Friday and the bright joy of the resurrection. Hazy shadows stand between Friday and Sunday, between night and morning, between despair and comfort. Saturday may be the most overlooked devotional opportunity of Holy Week, possibly because it is the unrealized in-between.
As I began preparing for Holy Week, I was surprised as to how unholy it felt. Between rushing to fill our social media presence with content, incessantly reading the news, and figuring out when it is a good time to buy groceries, I have not been fasting, watching ‘the Passion of the Christ’ or even drooling at Cadbury eggs. This damn pandemic has really ruined Easter!
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Long ago, before Pinterest and Instagram, there was a cheesy plastic Easter egg. There was nothing terribly special about her, except that she was a nice shiny yellow with her middle neatly cracked open to reveal a hollow inside. There were many just like her gathered in the bucket on the shelf. Empty, polished shells just waiting.
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