Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Day 29, April 12, 2020
“Was it a morning like this?”

Easter is a day of great celebration in the Christian church, and rightly so. When we celebrate Easter, we are focusing on an action of God that is of utmost importance. The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth about what he calls things of first importance. “What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (I Corinthians 15:3,4) Paul stresses the importance of the resurrection with these words: “If Christ has not been raised your faith is futile.” (I Corinthians 15:17)

Hear the good news. Christ did rise from the grave. Because of that our faith is not futile. Our faith is built on the incredible miracle that Jesus Christ not only suffered and died, but by the power and grace of God Jesus was raised from the dead.

On Easter we join with the great cloud of witnesses who for some 2,000 years have gathered to claim the hope, the power, and the promise of resurrection life. The wonder and awe of the great day of resurrection is captured in the words to a song that begins with the question, “Was it a morning like this?” The song imagines Mary on her way to the tomb. Mary journeyed to the tomb with a heart burdened by sorrow. The tomb held the body of Jesus, the one she had trusted to be the Lord of all. Now he was dead. You cannot celebrate Easter without the recognition that for those closest to Jesus all hope was lost. How heavy the footsteps of Mary.

Heavy footsteps…perhaps more than any Easter in recent memory we can relate to heavy footsteps. Heavy footsteps, a heavy burden, a heavy heart as we contemplate the far-reaching effects of the Coronavirus. How heavy the footsteps of Mary. How heavy the footsteps of the whole world on this morning of isolation.

Mary can only see a world where death has conquered life. Maybe we can only see a world where death has conquered life. At particular times and particular places in human history it seems death has the upper hand. Mary felt it so long ago. As she made her way to the tomb, Mary could only see a world where death had conquered life.

But what Mary could see of the world was not all there was to see. The very ground beneath her feet was already bursting forth with the promise of new life, the hope of the resurrection. Her heavy footsteps, weighed down by the grief in her heart, were landing on patches of grass and clods of dirt that were already experiencing the joy that comes with knowing Jesus is alive. What was the world like that first day of resurrection? As Mary plods toward the tomb with her heavy footsteps, the song, “Was it a morning like this?” asks these joyful and wonderful questions…
Did the grass sing? Did the earth rejoice to feel him again?

Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound? “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round
“He is risen…hallelujah…hallelujah!”
(Jim Croegaert, “Was it a morning like this”)

            I love the idea that before our feet even hit the ground on Easter morning, the earth already knows. The grass already sings. The stone is already moved. Death is already defeated. And Jesus is already alive.

When your feet hit the ground this morning, know that the foundations have been shaken in a mighty way. The grass is singing! The earth is pounding with a rhythm that reverberates to its very core. Life has conquered death! Our Lord Jesus Christ is alive! Sing aloud on this Easter morning.

“Over and over in a never-ending round,

‘He is risen…HALLELUJAH…HALLELUJAH’” He is risen! He is risen indeed!

With the love of Christ,