Year A, Good Friday & Easter Sunday
Acts 10:34-43 OR Jeremiah 31:1-6
John 20:1-18 OR Matthew 28:1-10
Oh! the sheer dumbfounding irony! This week when Christians all over the world gather to celebrate Christ’s great victory over sin, death and all else that would destroy our life together – we can’t! An insidious demon called Corona or Covid-19 has suddenly appeared on the scene and decreed, “Thou shalt not worship the Lord Christ thy Saviour because the victory you thought you had in Him has been shown to be hollow and empty – He can’t even stop a virus in its tracks, let alone take away the sins of the world!” And it’s no use arguing, as some do, that Christ’s victory is a spiritual one only, and that we must look elsewhere for answers to material problems, like disease. No, our God is a holistic God; Psalm 103:3 reminds us that “He forgives all our iniquities, he heals all our diseases.” Yet it would be sheer stubborn folly to insist that because Christ has died and risen again there is now no sin, no death, no sickness, no evil of any kind in God’s world. Of course, there is! So, what then are we to make of this apparent stand-off between the reality of our faith and the inescapable reality of a fallen world?
I don’t want to get into an abstruse philosophical debate here, but just to point out that whereas we humans currently live in the world of Time, God is Eternal – He lives in the eternal Now. To put it another way, our life of faith is a sometimes precarious balance between the “already here” and the “yet to come”. We are creatures of Time moving in Christ toward Eternity. The current situation has thrown us into what for many of us are new and frightening circumstances, under the guidance of God’s Spirit we are already finding new ways of living and proclaiming Christ’s Way to each other and the world. (And a word here of praise and encouragement to [our minister] Lyn and her faithful tech team for the way they have been getting the Word out to us in trying circumstances, as is being done in many other congregations).
Do your worst, Mr Covid! You were beaten before you even started!