Easter 2021 is now behind us–at least the calendar day is. As a pastor, the Sunday morning part of Easter was less than many past Easters; With 43 in worship it was more personal than on-line only Easter 2020. Still, no congregational singing, no packed sanctuary, no sonrise service, and no in-person Holy Thursday service meant some things were “less than.” Am I alone in that experience whether you decided to attend Easter worship in-person or on-line? Easter 2021 started me thinking in a new way about the first Easter. No choirs of angels, no joyous family gatherings in a sanctuary, no kids rehearsing or sharing a program. Easter began with delicate whispers of hope into some very confusing moments.
An empty tomb, folded up grave-clothes, a rolled-away stone, and a missing body were reasons for more sadness in the beginning. The gospel of Mark has a point where it says the disciples, “told no one.” The gospel of John has the men is disbelief, running to the tomb to look, then running back to their hiding place. All the gospels show Easter dawning in small and gentle ways. The way Mary heard her name. The way two people recognized a stranger as Christ when he broke bread at their table before supper. Close disciples see him while hiding behind locked doors lest they, too, be caught and crucified. Maybe Easter 2021 was more Easter-like than I knew.
A few people gathered to hear the message. Others heard the message in their own homes. As the week unfolded but a couple of people I haven’t seen in a long while stopped by the church and we had the chance to visit. These next weeks as vaccination numbers increase, when we step out more from behind our “safe spaces” to interact with each other (albeit masked) I invite us to focus on the small signs of new life. I invite us to focus our attention less on the big “no’s” that have been part of our last year. I invite us to gratefully engage with the little “yes’s” that are starting to be a part of life again. May the Easter God give us a new and larger appreciation for the good in the smallest of things. May the risen Christ allow us to see the radiant image of God in the most familiar of people. May the Spirit whisper delicate blessings into ears ready to hear. Easter isn’t over. Easter 2021 has barely begun. Keep watch for God’s “yes’s” each day.