Nothing about this Easter season feels right. No church gatherings, no family celebrations... with the world in an unprecedented lock-down, it seems that this Holy Week has been hi-jacked.
If you're feeling the same way, read on. For there is Hope, even in the Darkness...
Earlier this year, our good friends, Stacy and Tina, had the privilege of joining the "Walking Where Jesus Walked" tour in Israel. It was an amazing trip and they said it deepened their faith in so many ways... this morning Stacy shared the following with friends and I was given permission to share his thoughts and experience with you all. In the midst of all the shut-downs, quarantines and Covid-19 worries, there is a truth here that we must not miss...
"I knew that based on my recent visit to Israel that this Easter was going to be a different experience.
Anytime you can add the physical memory to the hearing of a historical event it can always elevate your senses to a better understanding and provides more meaning.
We walked the path that Jesus took from the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane.
We walked to the places he went for those last few days all the way to the cross and the tomb. Got to get a sense of the distance, elevation, sights, sounds and smells.
We were even reminded of the opposition He faced as we could hear the 'Muslim call to prayers' being broadcast across the city.
But the one thing I did not expect this year was the feeling of isolation. In our culture, the Holy Week was become a time of celebration with church, family and friends. This year that social interaction is gone.
We are isolated to some degree.
I am reminded of the deep isolation He must have felt as one by one his followers faded to the shadows and many even denying they even knew Him.
As he took the brutal punishment handed out all the way to the cross as He continued to take on the weight of all of our sins and pay that debt He didn't owe with no one to come to He defense.
How isolated He must have felt.
I am also reminded of the isolation His followers must have felt, especially on this day in between His death and resurrection. How isolated and hopeless they must have felt.
So this year, more than any other, I have a better understanding of this historical event and the Hope of His resurrection. Sunday is coming and that historic new day.
We will someday soon be done with all of the social distancing and what a day of celebration that will be, but nothing like the celebration someday soon we will have with our Lord and Savior."
So beautifully said... Thank you Stacy for sharing your experiences, your heart this Holy Week.
There is a darkness laid low with the crucifixion and Christ's death alone on a cross.
Thanking God with bended knee for the Light and Hope that defies every tomb, every grave, every darkness... for Christ's redeeming work will not be buried.
This story, the story of Christ's eternal gift, it is ageless and personal and full of such love and mercy and grace. This is Easter. This Holy Celebration, our Holy Week, will not be lost to the darkness.
(Spoiler Alert: The Tomb is Empty!)
May we all be reminded that God's best work is done through Darkness... Sunday's Coming.
My Love, Always,