Worshipping in a quiet rural church, Easter, for me, should bring the excitement of the dawn service.
Creeping out of the house to drive to a beautiful building with a fire lit at the door, ready to light the Paschal (Easter) candle, as dawn approaches. As the birds start to welcome the day the service begins with the lighting of individual candles from the Paschal candle to illustrate the light returning to the world. In this we recognise – like the women at the tomb – that after the reflection period of Lent and the lamenting and darkness of Holy Week and Good Friday, Jesus has risen and light once more fills the world. It’s a time to be quiet, a time to slow down to hear, see and breathe the world around us as it comes alive.
To appreciate all that we have, and to be thankful.
Yet in these strange times, the dawn service – in fact any public worship – will not happen this year, and perhaps there is a doubt out there as to if it’s really Easter at all?
Whether your faith is that there is a God or that there is not a God, there are doubts.
Will this time pass?
Will normal life as we knew it return?
Whom that we know will be affected by the dreaded virus?
If you don’t have doubts you are either kidding yourself or you’re asleep. Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. Doubts keep faith awake and moving, and allow us to question and search. My own faith comes from the constant affirmation that I do believe.
Using the same old materials of earth, air, fire and water, our creator makes new things every 24 hours. Every morning we awake to things that never were before, and never will be again. Things have always been changing and evolving – we have simply been too busy to have noticed them.
So while this Easter weekend will be very different to those we are familiar with, no huge family get-togethers, Easter egg hunts, bank holiday pub lunches or jubilant church services, do take time to stop, to notice, and to focus on what is really important. Easter is a new dawn, a new beginning, a chance to shed the excess, to focus on what is really important and to rejoice in the glow of the Risen Lord.
May your Easter be blessed and all your eggs be double-yolked. J