“After the President’s news conference was over, one of the reporters made the observation that for the first time in our nation’s history we won’t be celebrating Easter. Well let me tell you one thing, he’s dead wrong. We might not celebrate what Easter has become in that there may be no new clothes bought for that Sunday. We might not hide and hunt eggs in mass quantities. We may not travel home to attend church with our family. We might not see some folks at our worship services that we haven’t seen since Christmas…but we’re going to Celebrate Easter. As a matter of fact, every Sunday is Easter Sunday. Every time we assemble for worship we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pilate couldn’t kill Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. You think the Coronavirus is going to stop Easter?”
My friend and fellow author Pastor Chris Whaley (The Masked Saint) wrote this following one of the President’s recent press conferences giving a Coronavirus update and asked me to share it. It inspired me to write this blog post. I am reminded that Easter is not about egg hunts and chocolate bunnies and big ham dinners…yes, they are holiday traditions that make the Easter season special, ones that I will miss with my children and grandchildren this year. But I think this year in particular is an opportunity to reflect on the “reason for the season.” Chris reminds us that Easter is about “the fact that we serve a living Savior who is still transforming lives today. Easter is not only about His resurrection, but our ability to rise with Him. Easter is about the hope of tomorrow and the gift of everlasting life. Yes indeed, we will celebrate. We’ll celebrate what God did for all of us at Calvary. How? By remembering Him. By loving Him. By worshiping Him. By praising Him. Easter for us is everyday. Let the celebration begin.”
We are an Easter people. What does that mean? That we need to spread of the joy of Easter! The Bible mentions the word “joy” 244 times. At the Last Supper (celebrated tonight) Jesus tells the apostles, “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11) and He tells us, “you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth, she has distress because her time has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being has been born into the world. “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:20-24) (John 16:20-22) And Saint Paul, who wrote over half the New Testament, tells us several times in his Letters to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” ALWAYS Paul? Yes, he says, “rejoice always.” After love, the second fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in us is joy. (Gal. 5:22)
The reason we as Christians can still feel joy and rejoice always despite the global pandemic happening right now is that we know the bottom line truth…that God loves us and that the best is yet to come. Honestly I don’t know how non-believers are getting through this world crisis. It makes me grateful for my faith. But we can’t spread what we don’t have. So get out your Bible and find passages with joy in them; watch church services online; meditate on God’s Word; be grateful for all of your blessings…most of all, that He has risen! Are you feeling the joy? Now more than ever before we need to celebrate the Good News that Jesus suffered, died and was raised for us because He loves us…and He will not let us perish because of a virus, even if it is a pandemic…like all of His disciples who have been faithful before us despite plagues, trials and tribulations, He will help us through this and we will rise again.
Dear Lord, please help me to spread the Good News of Easter and to not only feel Your joy but to share it with others, now and forever. Amen.
Wishing You and Yours a Blessed, Happy Easter!