April 7, 2020
My Resurrection Sunday memories are filled with images of extravagant meals, dressing extra fancy to go to church, and seeing not only Easter lilies, but also people who hadn’t been to church since Christmas. It was a joyous time of celebration that was cloaked in predictability, celebration, and security. I treasure these memories that are part of my story. But my story, like yours, has taken a radical shift this year.
The first Easter didn’t find the disciples pulling out the suit and tie they hated wearing; doing an Easter Egg hunt on the town square, or peeling potatoes in preparation for the large family meal following church that day. In fact, the disciples didn’t even get to go to church that first Easter. Their first Easter looks somewhat familiar to the Easter we are set to embark on…retreating to the inside of our homes (for who knows how long) because what is going on outside and all around is dangerous and terrifying. The disciples spent the very first Easter up to their eyeballs in uncertainty and confusion as they wondered where was God in all that was happening around them.
Perhaps that’s where you’ve found your thoughts wandering as we continue on in this unprecedented season that none of us ever dreamt was possible. Maybe, just maybe, this Resurrection Sunday can be an opportunity for us to be stripped of all the 1st world securities and comforts we’ve known in Christendom, and instead celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with a new sense of passion and zeal.
Our need for a Savior is as real as it’s ever been, but our awareness of that need is heightened right now. Unlike the disciples though, we know how the story unfolded on that fateful Sunday morning. We have history to buttress our faith for this Resurrection Sunday. We know that with an empty tomb comes the resurrection power of Jesus Christ who is at this very moment making all things new!
I want to leave you with the words of the timeless hymn that I pray can speak into your souls this Resurrection Sunday while you celebrate a risen Savior inside your home as the disciples once did.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!
Rev. Brian D. Johnson