11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo′ni!” (which means Teacher).
Thought for the Day: How is Easter Different this year?
Awaking on Easter brings a sense of newness, a sense of anticipation, a sense of wonder, a sense of love, and a sense that someone has loved us so much that He died for our sins and then arose to show His love for us. “He Arose!” “He’s Alive!” Before Easter, we normally go to the store and shop for the perfect Easter clothes so our family matches when we go to church dressed to celebrate together! We awake and try to get ourselves dressed in our best, and we attempt to get our children dressed and ready to go to our Easter services. That’s Easter, right? That’s always been Easter, right?
But this year, this year is so different! On this Easter morning, I laid in bed and watched our church’s Sunrise Service on Facebook Live. A Sunrise Service without a lot of people, just individual people singing by themselves, yet together. I watch our family as we prepare for our 11:00 Easter Worship service…but wait…my Minister of Music husband is here in the house. He’s not supposed to be here on an Easter morning. He is supposed to be at church getting ready in the Worship Center to prepare for the people who are about to come through the doors for Easter Services. Somethings just not right.
This year is different, so different on so many levels. This year there is a pandemic, the Covid-19 pandemic. We are sheltering in place to do our part to slow the spread of a terrible virus that has found its way into our world. People around the world are doing things “differently” this year.
But wasn’t that how it was the first Easter? Wasn’t Mary only with a couple of other women when she walked to the tomb on that first Easter when she found that the stone had been rolled away. Weren’t Peter and the other disciple alone as they ran to the open tomb after Mary told them about it. Wasn’t Mary alone again when she wept at the tomb when Jesus appeared to her. They grieved alone then they rejoiced alone. Today, we know the story and we know our regular routine that is “normal” for us on Easter. We rejoice together…a lot of rejoicing together. Today, we are like Mary, and Peter, and the disciples. We are like the disciples who fearfully hunkered down in the Upper Room. We are like the disciples who were in disbelief when Jesus entered the room. Today, we are hunkered down sheltering in our homes on this Easter. But do we still see Him, do we still see the Risen Christ? Indeed, we do! We need Jesus Christ to be among us today and if we look closely, we can see Him clearly. He is clearly among us in the people on the medical front line of this virus, he in the people who are helping neighbors in so many different ways, he is in the faces of our children as we read the scripture about the empty tomb, and we see Jesus in the faces of our loved ones.
So, today is different for an Easter. It is not our normal annual Easter Sunday. But is it still Easter? Indeed! Why? Because “Jesus is Risen…He is Risen indeed!”
Prayer: Father God! You are our amazing God! You sent your own Son into this world to save us from our sins, and then you raised Him again to walk among us. Help us, Lord, to see Jesus’ hands and feet in the people around us. As we shelter in place, let us show our thanks to those who are helping those who are sick. Let us find ways to show our love to those around us, even if we can’t see them face to face. We love you Lord! Happy Easter!
Prayer Focus: Sheltering in Place on Easter Sunday