Anticipating Easter Joy

Easter feels long overdue this year. As a pastor I tend to mark the passage of time by the liturgical seasons of the church year, from Advent to the Reign of Christ, every bit as much by the Gregorian calendar, from January through December. The pandemic has skewed our perception of time in such a way as to feel like we have been through a yearlong Lent, a protracted season of solemn contemplation. However, nearing the end of Holy Week on this Maundy Thursday, we are assured that Easter is coming.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ proclaims the profound truth about God’s everlasting and ever-living love for us. The high notes of Alleluias carry us forward into the joyous hope that we live eternally with God. It will continue to feel a little different this year, but it will arrive nonetheless in glory.

While we still cannot be crowded shoulder to shoulder in the Sanctuary singing our hearts out together, it helps to remember that the first Easter was an isolated event and hidden from view. No one was there to see what exactly transpired between God and Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit that first Easter morning, but witnesses arrived to discover the tomb empty. The most expansive meaning of Easter is less about physical evidence, or even congregational togetherness, and more about the living power of God unleashed in the world. Wherever we are, the Living Christ is there.

So today, on Maundy Thursday, let us continue our long Lenten journey through tonight’s remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper with his friends, and join our youth tomorrow as they lead Good Friday Prayer Stations on the church lawn. Then we will be prepared to greet Easter’s dawning truth. Christ is risen! And therefore, all of life gives testimony that our faith is alive and our joy is shared in the world.



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