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Special Easter message for a special time

Today we are living in a special time when the life of almost every person around the world is impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. I have read a variety of uplifting and thought-provoking blogs and comments from so many different people, both as individuals and as business operators – and I’m really encouraged that so many have come up with novel, creative ways to help, or are sharing  their faith more openly than before. I did not intend to try to say anything new myself, but as Easter is fast approaching, I find I cannot miss the opportunity!

For many people this pandemic just brings inconvenience, uncertainty or frustration; for others it brings worry and fear because of loss of employment or business. Yet all of that could suddenly change and become even worse with the onset of symptoms or a positive diagnosis for someone in the family – then, we could suddenly be swept up into a frightening period of panic, turmoil and genuine fear for the future.

2,000 years ago the family and friends of Jesus were suddenly swept up into something very similar. They were thrown into total shock by the arrest, beating and crucifixion of Jesus. He was their teacher, their mentor and their friend – and even some did believe he was the Messiah. As darkness reigned over the cross for 3 hours that fateful Friday, they watched helplessly as Jesus hung suffering. Maybe some had a desperate expectation that suddenly Jesus would leap down from the cross in a great miraculous delivery thereby proving to everyone he was the Messiah. But that didn’t happen! All hopes were dashed. All faith disintegrated into despair as they watched as their loved one died and was buried in a tomb.

We really cannot understand how they felt because we know the rest of the story! But we may come close if our own life is suddenly thrown into a tailspin by something unexpected and terrifying – perhaps the sudden death of a loved one; or the pronouncement of a dire diagnosis….hopes dashed….faith disintegrated…..

Maybe the disciples did remember Jesus’ promise that he would see them again soon – yet that was so totally impossible and unimaginable in the midst of such dark despair.

But then……somehow…..inconceivably, Jesus overcame death and the grave, and appeared to them showing that he IS alive, that he IS in charge, and that there is ALWAYS hope! No matter how impossible it may seem, Jesus can and does show up in the midst of the darkness and despair to remind us that HE is in charge and can show the way forward! We often feel so unable to help when we know others are suffering – and all we can do is pray. There is no magic word to say; not even a bible verse that will undoubtedly bring them comfort. We can’t imagine HOW, yet we can still BELIEVE that Jesus will show up and bring new hope; that the Holy Spirit will fulfill the name Jesus gave him – “The Comforter”. We cannot go by what we think, or what we feel – instead we must trust in the Jesus we KNOW, whose promise is TRUE.

Hebrews 13:5b-6 “…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? (AMPC)

During these dark days, let’s remember that and remind others. Jesus is alive and He is Lord of all! May you feel HIS presence, HIS peace and HIS joy this Easter and each day forward, Blessings, Shirley.

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