Rev.  Jan Bihl
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Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth

who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here…

go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you

to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

Mark 16: 6-7

Celebrate Easter? Really? This year?

This year is different from anything most of us have ever experienced. We are in a pandemic, practicing physical distancing, borders are closed, we can’t hug our grandkids or our neighbours… What’s next? Everything seems uncertain.

Celebrate Easter?

Yes. Now more than ever. Because Jesus is not in the tomb. He is not in what used to be, in business as usual. He is with us now, in our grief and worry… and will be with us at each step into an uncertain future.

This year, more than any other, we can identify with the disorientation, the bewilderment, the fear, the vulnerability of the first disciples as they walked with Jesus to the cross…and then waited, not knowing what to do…and then the shock and amazement of the first Easter morning and the days that followed. This was not a loud, triumphant time. It was a time of bewilderment…and an invitation to a deep and daring trust in Jesus’ words and in his promise of the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

In those first moments of Easter, there was no evidence that Jesus would come to them, alive in a new way. There was simply the promise of what Jesus had told them: that he would be with them always…and would meet them out ahead…

And Jesus did meet them. He met them on the road, in the room as they gathered together, and as they worked and wondered and waited for what to do next.

This year, more than any, we can celebrate in a very real way that Jesus is still alive and meeting us where we are.

He is not in the tomb. He is not in the way things used to be. He is not in our patterns of fear and greed and overindulgence and control. He is risen. He is coming to us as we gather, even virtually, as we work, as we wonder, as we play, as we wait. It is the bewilderment, the uncertainty, the disorientation that can point us God-ward, can alert us to be awake, aware, attuning our hearts and spirits to where Christ is meeting us, calling us, perhaps frying up some fish and inviting us to dine with him, entering our rooms and saying Peace…He is with us.

This year is different. We wonder what’s next. How will this end? Will it be business as usual? Will we go back fishing? Or is this going to be totally different?

So, yes, this year, more than ever, let’s definitely celebrate!

Get out on your porch or balcony and cheer on the people on the front lines essential services. Enjoy painting some rocks with encouraging words and placing them where others will be encouraged by them. Have a virtual Easter egg hunt. Let your creativity loose because Christ is risen, Jesus is alive, and Love is at work! Alleluia!

Easter Blessings to you and yours.

With Love,

Rev. Jan