I hope no-one is offended by this which is a brilliant Easter cartoon from Morland at the Sunday Times. My favourite bit is the megaphone. We live by the sea and the police boat is continually patrolling the lovely coastline to make sure that no-one is sitting down and enjoying the view. Keep moving, if you know what’s good for you.
It goes without saying that Easter has been “different” this year. No church, and it is well known that I get a bit religious at Easter, so I missed that. We have been online which has produced two gaiety inducing bonuses.
Number One – You get to see pastors/vicars in their own homes. I have very much enjoyed people trying to bring high levels of solemnity to Good Friday Communion, only to have their children roar in and move the iPad away mid sermon or ask dad if they can finish that glass of Ribena when he is done with it because they are dead thirsty. Brilliant.
Number Two – You get to sign on to other people’s churches and watch preaching etc without feeling any guilt because you are sort of playing away from home. Over the weekend, I have watched my local pastor but have also had a nosey round international people I like (Rick Warren was appealingly normal for a man with such a mahoosive congregation but – between you and me – there are preachers out there who are believing their own publicity and need to calm down a bit) and also preachers who have gone on. (Not dead – just moved churches) It has been lovely to watch preachers I haven’t seen for years and, as proper Christians say – it has been a blessing as well .
Out of the whole Easter weekend the bit I am most fascinated by is Easter Saturday. Not that I am dismissing Dying, Resurrection and the first post-resurrection commission to preach actually being given to women. No, no certainly not. It’s just Saturday – with its wild uncertainty as far as Jesus’ followers were concerned and a distinct lack of optimism and a clear way forward is ringing a lot of bells at the moment. HOH was saying how long three days must have felt in the lives of a group of people who, despite Jesus and his full-on warnings about where this was all going, were not really where they expected to be after throwing in their lots with him. Some had returned to their own lives, some were hiding because they didn’t really fancy going through what Jesus had gone through and some were resigned to tending a grave and grieving for what they thought that they had lost. No-one was digging people in the ribs shouting – “Don’t worry! He’ll be raising from the dead any minute. You will see some amazing things. Keep the faith. Hurrah!”
I am always very encouraged that Jesus didn’t hold this complete collapse against anyone and carried on regardless with the original plan – i.e. miraculous resurrection, life changing callings, doling out of power and authority, giving the capability to live in peace in all circumstances etc. etc.
I am finding it’s all a bit Saturday morning at the moment. No-one saw this one coming apart from a few epidemiologists who we all ignored and no-one is really sure how it will end. AP has changed from extreme optimism
“Two weeks in lockdown – that’s all.” to extreme pessimism
“Six months before I can leave this flat, I’ve been told.”
“Mum! SIX MONTHS. Wuhan was only 76 days.”
“That’s what Ive been told.”
We cannot find the deliverer of this devastating news but HOH has advanced the theory that someone in the sheltered housing reached the end of their tether about being continually questioned by all the residents about how long this was going on for and just went for it big time in the hope of lowering expectations permanently. And before you feel too sorry for her – she was phoning from the garden.
It’s not just the Covid19 crisis that may be causing Easter Saturdays all over the place at the moment but I have comforted myself (most of the time) with the remembrance that rescue delayed is not rescue forgotten. I know that I have things that I can be doing at this time and I am aware that my life dials needed re-setting but either way, I am thinking that what God can do may not be obvious but that it is no less on its way.