I read a statistic that in the run in to the lockdown we are now experiencing, the UK spent over £1.9 billion on stockpiling food in readiness for it – as well as the odd toilet roll or two! We didn’t really know what to expect, but we still made some preparations.
As we head into the Easter season, I want to encourage us to be as diligent in our preparations for it. I want to encourage us to embrace it, to put it at the centre of our week ahead, because Easter gives us hope and helps us in the midst of these difficult and uncertain times.
Ken Garett, a member of our church wrote this poem:
LOCKED IN – BUT STILL LOOKING UP
We’re six feet apart – that’s the norm, tried and tested
Don’t go out twice, or you might be arrested
Have I got the virus – why can’t I be tested?
The garden looks good – much labour invested
We may be inside, but the birds are still singing
We can’t meet our friends, but the phone is still ringing
The church building’s locked, but it’s still on the net
Life can be frustrating, we know that, but yet –
We know we’re God’s people, accepted, forgiven
Easter is coming, and Christ is still risen!
Easter is coming, and Christ is still risen! That is the truth of our faith and what gives us hope. Christ is still risen! Christ hasn’t been shut down, locked down, or in isolation. He’s as powerful, life changing and hope giving as he always has been.
Let’s greet Jesus this Easter time as the crowds did on that very first Palm Sunday. In John’s Gospel we read:
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’
Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.’
At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realise that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. John 12:12-16
Let’s be like the crowds the first Easter and welcome Jesus with our Hosannas in this Easter season. Hosanna means he saves! Let’s remember that Jesus is the one who:
- Gives us Access to the Father at All Times
- Ensures God will Never Leave us nor Forsake Us
- Brings Peace
- Gives us his Holy Spirit to draw us closer to the Father as well as to empower and equip us for all each day has in store.
- Rose from the Dead and is Alive
- Has Conquered Death and Sin
I want to finish with a verse from a very famous Easter Hymn as a reminder and a declaration over us:
Lo! Jesus meets us,
Risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us,
Scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness,
Hymns of triumph sing;
For her Lord now liveth,
Death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory,
Risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death hast won.