“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Like most of you, this weekend will not be a typical Easter Sunday. Many families will not be together celebrating Easter with their own traditions. In a time of social distancing and uncertainty that can cause fear and anxiety, it can be difficult to feel happy for any holiday or celebration. Fear and isolation have a way of stealing our joy.
During the week leading up to Easter is known as Holy Week. I was thinking what Jesus’ disciples must have been feeling during the week leading up to his death on the cross. One day the crowds are cheering, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!” as they were celebrating Jesus as the one who has come to save them. Then, only a few days later that same crowd was cheering, “Crucify him!” as Jesus stood trial before Pilot.
Fear must have been racing through the disciples' minds. Even Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, denied even knowing Jesus three different times as people in the crowds were pointing out that Peter was one of Jesus’ followers.
In only a few short days, everything unexpectedly changed. The disciples were isolated and sheltered in their homes, fearing for their lives. Many people this week are feeling the same way. Life is supposed to look different than this. Easter is supposed to look different than this.
One of the most powerful moments in the Easter story takes place after Jesus’ death and resurrection. His disciples were out fishing and Jesus shows up on the shore and cooks them breakfast. Then He has a moment of restoring Peter and reassuring him of His love for him. After Jesus commissions his disciple to take the Good News to the rest of the world, He reminds them that He will be with them always! I think during this different and unexpected Easter season, let’s not let fear and isolation steal our joy. Let’s remember that no matter what we are going through, Jesus is with us. You are not alone, we’re all in this together. I hope you have a wonderful Easter!