Even with a ham in the oven and the house mostly presentable, my Easter bonnet is all askew this year. Is it possible to celebrate Easter in isolation? Can we really observe the highest holy day of our church calendar without rousing hymns and communal breakfasts and the perfume of Easter lilies in the sanctuary? Even though we are nearly experts at social distancing by now, I’m afraid the collision of Covid-19 with Easter 2020 has caught me off guard.
I’m finding consolation in the truth that the first people to celebrate resurrection were also caught off guard. Disbelieving for joy at first, they recovered nicely, staking their lives on the veracity of an empty tomb and setting their faces to follow a risen Christ. Handing over their rights, their plans, their futures, they determined that their lives would now be considered fuel to power the message of forgiveness, mercy, and welcome that is the Gospel.
It seemed reasonable to them at the time.
A man of courage and conviction, Paul called himself the “chief of sinners,” but his vision of the risen Christ never dimmed. With elegance, his pen connected the dots between sound reason and self sacrifice:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Daily, gradually, our out-poured lives land before God one drop at a time.
Living sacrifies, we are enlivened and empowered by a Living Savior in times of gathering and feasting–and also in times of uncertainty and solitude. Our allegiance to Him is demonstrated by our quiet faith.
This is our reasonable response to the resurrection.
Happy Easter! He is risen indeed!
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