As I write this, and possibly as you read it, we aren’t sure when we will be able to gather again for cor-porate worship. A lot has changed in our community and throughout our nation over the past few weeks as we adjust routines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Canceling worship at Broadway may seem like a small concern compared to all the many disruptions our society is dealing with, but worshiping God is no small concern. Canceling worship will not become a “new normal” for us; it is only a temporary necessity.
That said, it is possible that we will not be able to gather on Easter morning, which would be a great loss and hardship for all of us. If we cannot be together that morning, let us assure one another that Jesus will still be worshiped as our Risen Lord. We will still rejoice in the glorious news of His resurrection and in the new life we have found in Him.
The Easter story is about rebirth, about overcoming the grave, about finding hope and life in the midst of sorrow and death. That is the story we need now. Jesus’ resurrection gives us faith to look beyond the bur-dens and trials of this life. It calls us to see past the brokenness and pain, even past the finality of the tomb. Jesus’ resurrection assures us that God gives us life that nothing in this world can take away.
When Jesus died on the cross, His disciples felt lost and afraid. They had put their faith in Him, but when He died, it all turned to darkness. They couldn’t yet see the light and couldn’t imagine how anything could overcome their sorrow and fear. His body was carried to the tomb. The stone was rolled in place. Sol-diers stood on guard. It must have felt like there was no hope at all, no way to cut through the darkness.
Today, the news is full of scary stories and anxious thoughts. People are quarantined and isolated. Schools and businesses are closed. We are living through a difficult cultural moment that none of us could have anticipated even six months ago. It might feel like the world is falling apart, that things we have come to depend on now no longer seem reliable. We might feel afraid, worried and depressed. The hard reality is, some people are sick and some have died.
But this darkness will pass, just as Jesus walked out of the tomb at sunrise that Sunday morning long ago. Our God sends light to cut through the darkness. Our God gives life. Our God heals
We will overcome the coronavirus. We will emerge again from quarantine. We will get back to life as usual. Hopefully, sooner than later.
And we will worship together again. We will sing joyful songs and pray faithful prayers. We will read God’s word out loud and let the Spirit speak into our hearts. We will fellowship with one another face-to-face, and someday even hand-in-hand. We will overcome this darkness.
For now, place your hope and faith in God’s goodness. Pray for our community and nation. Care for your loved ones at home, and keep in touch with your church family. We will get through this hard time, and Jesus will remain our Risen Savior and Lord.