Friday, April 10, 2020
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.
Are you missing being able to attend church, especially during this sacred Holy Week? Yes? Me, too! Throngs of Christians are mourning the fact we can no longer meet in close proximity, to celebrate and worship God together in fellowship, and garner strength, comfort and wisdom from friends, who inspire us to face the week that lies ahead with renewed conviction.
But as we approach Easter, with today being Good Friday, when Jesus chose the agony of the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, let us rethink our current inability to be physically together in community. Is it, all in all, a bad thing? When we stop and consider Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves, isn't that what we are doing when we self-isolate or practice social distancing during this pandemic? It's a new opportunity to acknowledge the value of all God's children.
Then we hear the countless stories of Christians doing remarkable things in their towns and communities for those out of work and for those, like the elderly, who are cautioned to stay in place. I hope you will share the ones you have heard, or perhaps, been a part of, in the comments!
Encouraging one another, and lifting each other up, doesn't have to stop. We can reach out by phone calls, texts, social media, and cards. When was the last time you sent someone a note via snail mail? Just the other day, before this madness descended, I received an unexpected, but so welcome, post card from a blogging friend. Her words lifted my spirits that day, and continue to do so as I keep her card front and center on my computer desk.
And of course, we can pray without ceasing, for all those on the front lines of this disease, for those who are ill and hurting, for the families in economic peril, for all who are working in essential jobs to keep this country going. Yes, we can pray, too, for all those who hoarded toilet paper. Didn't Jesus tell us to love our enemies? That's a start!
Might it be that because we can no longer meet together in a physical church building, we are actually doing more for the Lord and His kingdom than ever before?
Because when we attend Sunday service, yet fail to carry the message we receive into the world, the church becomes a tomb. One that stays sealed, devoid of the resurrection promise.
So, let's not view the empty church as a negative thing, but as the gloriously empty tomb the women discovered on that first Easter morning so long ago.
May we take joy in being deployed into this dark and hurting world to share the Good News of Christ Jesus like never before.
Isn't that what being a Christian is really all about?
May your Easter be blessed!
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