Like you, I have traditions. Like you, one of my traditions is to be in church on Easter Sunday. I recall the pastor of our home church on Easter Sunday calling out what I came to know as the way Methodists greeted one another on Easter with, “He Is Risen!” and the response, “He Is Risen, Indeed!” All through the season of lent, my heart longs to call out to the church on Easter Sunday with those words, and hear you in response testify to the truth we gather to proclaim.
Thursday and Friday of this week, we will invite you to find our church website, and be reminded of the impacting events of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. It won’t be the same as gathering in our sanctuary, but it will offer you the opportunity to watch it over and catch anything you might have missed.
I know I’ve written to you of how Easter Sunday Is our High Holy Day as followers of Jesus. A part of my tradition has been gathering at church with all of you. Another part has been baking the day before Easter to be ready to share something with my family as we gather in Saginaw or Midland. These traditions will be different this year, too. I will tape my Easter message instead of preaching it to a group of gathered people. And, since we won’t be traveling to join my family for a celebration, I won’t be baking pies to share on Saturday.
Just about the time I began to feel like someone had let the air out of the tires of my life, I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking me, “But isn’t this Easter?” Isn’t a completely different thing precisely what God did on Easter? No one was expecting resurrection! No one was expecting to encounter an angel at the tomb! No one was looking for the tomb to be empty! It wasn’t the tradition, because there was no tradition.
I suspect your traditions have been altered this year. I understand how the changes can be hard. Still, don’t let the interruptions steal your joy. The truth of resurrection will be just as life-altering, and radical as it ever was. If you get tempted to feel like the air has been let out of the tires of your life, allow me to ask you, “But isn’t this Easter?” Isn’t this the moment when the disciples believed all hope was gone, only to discover every hope was born again?
May you be supported by the Grace of God, and may the Peace of Christ permeate your soul,