It’s Easter morning. Because we are quarantined at home and most stores and churches are closed, there are fewer Easter bunnies, Easter egg hunts, and no concern about preparing for the Easter Sunday services. Instead, people are watching The Ten Commandments, The Passion of the Christ, and local church services on TV and the Internet. Strangely enough, most people are at home with their families keeping the main thing the main thing.
Even those who are sick or watching their loved ones suffer are not trivializing this holiday. When people are sick and/or their loved ones may be dying, they think about eternal life, healing, redemption, and God’s role in the events we are all experiencing. And with this being Easter, the message of Jesus’ redemptive death and resurrection is all around us. Health care workers are singing Amazing Grace and praying with patients in secular hospitals. Practically every news cast has someone testifying that prayer healed them or that their hope in God sustained them. That can’t be bad.
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog in answer to a question about God’s presence in the midst of this pandemic. (https://wp.me/p2QTRC-IQ), which has become a very popular blog.
Because people are having to settle what their families mean to them contrasted with what their possessions mean to them. Quarantined people have time to contemplate why they are living the way they are, and they have the time to decide whether they want to spend live their lives watching television, enjoying their relationships, growing in the Scriptures, or medicating themselves with a chemical high. My guess is that anyone searching any form of media this morning could easily find a life-giving Easter message that would be uplifting to them. Or, they could react to that Gospel message that was so omnipresent this morning and allow their rebellion and hatred of the Gospel to cause them to take a course into darkness that will be eternal.
I once asked an old man what he thought of President Trump. He paused, thought, and said, “Well, he sure causes people to reveal themselves.” As I thought about his response, I realized how wise it was. As a result of our response to our president, I think we all know more about ourselves, our politics, our friends, and our nation. The same thing is happening with this pandemic, political philosophies and personal convictions are being vividly revealed. So, between our President and the pandemic, lights are coming on in ourselves and others, and this Easter ended up being more Christian than I can ever remember.
So, I think we might be wise to thank God for this Sabbath rest in quarantine. This is our opportunity to grow in God, enjoy our families, read some good books, clean out some closets both in our homes and in our hearts, and be grateful for this time when we can all determine why we do what we do. We may decide it’s time to redirect a little – or a lot.
I know this season has created horrific financial situations for thousands of individuals and institutions across the country. We are doing all we can to participate with the churches, non-profits, individuals, corporations and government agencies helping relieve some of the pressure this pandemic is placing on people.
I am personally aware of the thousands of small churches like ours without a strong media presence that function based on the spiritual and financial strength of Sunday morning services. We at St. James are attempting to attend to these needs with daily Zoom meetings, a Zoom based Wednesday night Bible study, and Sunday morning livestreamed on Facebook and then posted on our website. But financially, even though some people are giving online, it does not compare to the resources we could be using if we were still having public Sunday morning services. Thus, I as a pastor and our church leadership team are having to make some tough decisions. Those decisions reveal us.
Let’s celebrate the focus on the Gospel we’re seeing across our nation today. Just as Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, these circumstances might cause all of us, our families, our churches and institutions, to rise from the dead and experience new life. Let’s embrace Him.
We are Easter (Resurrection) People!
Pastor Ted Haggard, DD, CHBC, is a Bible teacher with an emphasis on New Testament solutions to the human condition. His Bible teaching is informed by biblical scholarship, Choice Theory (Glasser), Attachment Theory (Johnson), and Behavioral Studies using DISC (Rohm).
This and other blogs by Pastor Ted Haggard are available at http://www.tedhaggardblog.com as a ministry of St. James Church. If you would like to strengthen the ministry of St. James Church and Pastor Ted Haggard by giving, please use the “give” tab at http://www.saintjameschurch.com.