This Easter Sunday will never be forgotten.
Many of us won’t be able to gather for worship in our churches and greet each other with “Hallelujah, Christ is Risen! Yes, indeed Christ is Risen!”
Instead, we will be home, either alone or with our close family connected online with our worldwide sisters and brothers declaring Christ’s victory over death.
In this time of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we stay home to save lives. We pray from our own sanctuaries and lift up to God all who feel like they are in the darkness of the tomb. We trust there is light after darkness.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remind us of World Day of Prayer women preparing the worship service for the First Friday of March. The WDP women give their time to prepare the rituals of encounter and prayer that nurture fellowship and hope in the community. For the two Marys though, that first day after the Sabbath started early. They went to prepare the rituals of burying a loved one – Jesus
Their arrival to the tomb was preceded by the dramatic appearance of an angel of the Lord. The angel understood well the reason for their visit and their feelings. “Do not be afraid. He is not here,” said the angel of the Lord. After the encounter, filled now with fear and great joy, the two Marys ran to share the good news with the disciples (Matthew 28:1-9).
This Easter, we may have these mixed feelings of fear and joy. How can we let the news given by the angel nurture ourselves? Perhaps by letting go of our fear, caring for each other, and creating space for the great joy of being united in the same prayer -- Hallelujah, Christ is Risen!
The word of the Risen One remains a promise of life for all of us. Jesus has gone before us, leading us from death to life. Through our most dire situations, let us dare to live with great joy and hope. Then, like the disciples, we will take hold of Jesus’ feet and feel encouraged to see the signs of resurrection around us.
Truly, Christ is Risen! Amen!
- Laurence Gangloff, WDPIC Chairperson and Rosangela Oliveira, WDPIC Executive Director