An Easter That Never Was?

Posted on 18th April, 2020

What a year 2020 is turning out to be!  What a decade!  And it has only just begun.

 

The Church's year has suffered a rare disruption. Having spent centuries arguing with the Orthodox over the date of Easter, this year has seen its more or less complete absence. We have been left with ourselves to contemplate the meaning of spring in the midst of a pandemic whose numbers and real effects we seem barely to know. Blinded by science, most of us have meekly complied with the commands of our betters in the vague hope it will soon be over, with granny still with us.

 

Despite the absence of the Easter ceremonies, maybe this is a glimpse as to how it was on that first Easter Sunday. Amidst the pain, the confusion and the simple not-knowing, something had plainly happened. The somewhat contradictory, slightly confused gospel accounts make that clear - an event that had brought eternity near. The simple, sensible assumptions of the plain, ordinary woman who came to the tomb were upended, never to be set right. The world had been made new.

 

Yet ponder the terror of those moments until she did know. She perhaps thought she was mad, or dreaming, or that she should have had less wine. And yet, in the crisp brilliance of the morning, amidst its coolness, stood the Lord whom had died in new life. It was a miracle, like but also unlike all his others. What had been so hard, no doubt unbearable, had turned to something wondrous, but whose consequences were still unknown. The coldest slivers of hope had been vindicated.

 

Thus, in the midst of this pestilence, we may hope. Those who see the warmongerers and the politicians rattle their sabres to divert attention can trust still in the mercy and justice of the Most High. Christ rested in the grave three days, but he now reigns forever; coronavirus has come - as did death - but it shall be vanquished.

O Lord, have mercy. Ye saints, pray.

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