As I write this blog post, Easter Sunday was just ten days ago. It sure was a different Easter this year. Churches were closed all around the United States, and I understand that there were churches closed around the world, at least in some locations, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Easter egg hunts didn’t happen. Restaurants were not full of customers, and families didn’t gather together from different homes for an Easter dinner. As I read the news each day, some of the articles focus on how as a nation, our mental health is suffering.
But we don’t have to despair. I’m very grateful that a couple of months ago, our congregation went through a book by Pastor Timothy Keller, called “Making Sense of God.” In that book, he talked about how some of the dangers of turning away from God. For example, if we believe that there is no afterlife and there is no God, then all we have to hope for is a good life. We hope that our family stays healthy and the kids get good grades. We hope that we can keep a job and have enough income. We hope that we find a love that lasts in our lives.
And these things can all be taken away, Keller reminds us. The current situation with covid-19 has taken away jobs from many, many people, who are wondering if they will be able to get back on their feet financially. There are those who have been sick, and as of the date of this article, over 47,000 people in the United States and 182,000 worldwide have died from this disease, according to Wikipedia. (Other sources have other totals).
Here’s the point. If we put all our eggs in the basket of this life, we can lose it all. If we put all our hopes for happiness in this life, in our relationships, in our jobs, in having fun, that can all be taken away.
But Christ is risen. Christ is risen. That cannot be taken away. Jesus has defeated death, and He has given eternal life to all who trust in Him. So while we grieve deeply when people we love die, when they die in the faith, we know we will see them again. When we feel anxiety about our income and our jobs, we know that our security is ultimately in God, not in our ability to make a living. And when we ourselves face death, we know that even death cannot separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
He is the One in whom we find hope in difficult situations. He is the One who has a loving relationship with us that can never be taken away. He is the One who gives us hope when loved ones become sick or even die. He is the One who will bring us into eternity when we breath our last.
So be a person of courage and hope. Christ is risen.