After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. --Matthew 28:1
Recently, the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, shared publicly “the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.” Rising COVID-19 infection rates and deaths prompted her statement. We know all about impending doom at this time every year: the approaching doom of Jesus during Holy Week. This year, however, our ominous feelings are more pronounced. Not since childhood, when body counts from Vietnam were announced every morning, has daily death saturated the news.
All the more reason, then, to look forward to Easter. Easter will be celebrated on April 4, followed by the Sundays of Easter. The Bible readings we’ll hear in church will be filled with hope. They will announce God is stronger than death. They will invite us to see beyond every moment that presents itself as an ending. They will invite us to see by faith that there’s something more waiting after death--an everlasting life without predicament, problem, and pain. We believe by faith heaven will come.
Our family is now spread across the country. Barbara and I don’t sense doom, but we do sense change has come to our lives. How quickly we moved from diapers to homework to travel teams, and then to tuition payments, but now our tuition days are ending too. The late Steelers’ head coach, Chuck Noll, was known for telling his players retiring or being cut from the team, “It’s time to get on with your life’s work.” Barb and I believe there’s much left for us to do.
The resurrection message of Easter reminds us that in Christ our life’s work never ends. We move from one phase to the next; from one task to another. Even when final endings arrive, Christ invites us to rest in God, who is able to turn endings into beginnings; our deaths into life. Happy Easter, everyone! There’s no doom that will not be transformed into joy. The women who came to the tomb of Jesus remind us every year of who God is and how we are to comport ourselves as Easter people. We are ambassadors of hope in the world. We see beyond doom. We see beyond death. We see in the risen Christ the life that truly is life; life without end; and we live to tell others all about the hope within us. Happy Easter, everyone! Christ is with us.
Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed!
Pastor Doug Heagy
PS In-person, sanctuary worship is back!