Something Extra at Easter

Friends, please enjoy this reflection written by our friend and member of the WCC congregation, Mary Rhodes. 

“Although you have not seen him, you love him.” 1 Peter 1:8

My Easter? I celebrated with my family at home, keeping a six-foot distance with my son and his fiancé under quarantine.

For the past two years, my husband and I have been planning a trip to Hawaii with both kids to celebrate spring break. Then life changed. Both kids fled New York in March to escape the pandemic. Right now they’re sheltering with us, probably thru April and May. Their 17-day quarantine ends this week.

It’s grim, scary and unsettling. But it’s also one of the most blessed moments in our lives. I’d trade a week of Hawaiian beaches and luaus for this time of togetherness. It’s real. It’s unvarnished. And we are our true, stripped-down selves. Yes, I’m running out of ideas for making dinner with yet another carton of eggs—but my husband and I pinch ourselves that we got so lucky to have this random and unexpected gift of time together as a family.

And that’s the thing about our world right now, and our journey as Christians. There are gifts, breakthroughs and lessons that are taking us by surprise amidst the chaos and fear. We struggle, but we also cling to our deepest belief that once we invite God into our lives, his love becomes active, present and at work every moment (Hebrews 4:12—For the love of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edge sword…) I don’t always see or feel it. But I know and believe it.

The truth is, these days of isolation are allowing me to see a lot of blessings I’m usually too busy or distracted to savor. Take friendships. They feel a lot more open and honest right now because a lot of the trivia of our lives—like where we’ve been, what we’ve done and who we’ve seen—are gone. We don’t go anywhere or see anyone, so our conversations flow from our real selves and how we’re coping. It’s a new intimacy and authenticity.

Then there’s worship. Pete gave his first Sunday Facebook sermon in late March, and it took my family until the following Tuesday to get ourselves settled, focused and linked in. But the experience of just sitting together on our couch and worshipping with an iPad took us by surprise. It felt like Pete was speaking directly to us. And the message–how God’s love for us equips us to go out and love our neighbors and our world—was so timely and powerful. We shared a moment of understanding and conviction as a family I want to feel every Sunday. Did the simplicity and quiet of home worship make it so meaningful? Do I get too distracted on Sundays? I want to take that feeling of connectedness and deep listening back to church with me when life feels normal again.

And life will, at some point, get back to normal. But I’ll have changed. We’ve been given this gift of time and silence. Let’s use it to listen to the spirit’s prompting. A lot of the distractions we used to focus on and obsess about aren’t going to matter anymore. God will guide us. He loves us. No matter how isolated we may feel, we aren’t helpless. God’s love is a gift we can receive, rally around, mobilize, and share—even under quarantine! We can find him in surprising new ways and make a difference, right now, in this Easter pandemic moment.

One thought on “Something Extra at Easter

  1. Mary, what a beautiful picture of love… love for family and love of God. You are right. There are good things coming out of this terrible pandemic. Hindsight will show us many more.

    Like

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