Hello. I’m Bishop Brian, and I wanted to bring Easter greetings to you today. This Easter, 2020, will be unlike any Easter we have ever experienced in our lifetime. A typical Easter Sunday morning, the church is filled with people, the church is filled with the smell of Easter lilies and music, celebration, proclamation.
This year, we will celebrate Easter, not together, but in our homes, away from each other, apart from each other, in order to support each other in caring for the community in the season of COVID-19.
Realizing that we will not be together, we might ask ourselves, so how will it be Easter? Will it feel like Easter? Will we understand Easter as we have in the past?
It’s good to remember that, on the first Easter, on that first Easter experience that we see in the Gospel of John, in the Gospel of Luke, Mary, in the garden, in the Gospel of John, encounters Jesus, the resurrected one, and she does not recognize him. It takes some time in that conversation before she is aware that Easter is in her midst. So, Easter had shown up, the resurrected one was there, and she could not recognize him.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus, on the road to Emmaus with two strangers, again, is present, is resurrected, is alive, and they do not realize it, they cannot see him as the Easter hope that he had promised.
And so, this year, you and I might also need more time to understand that Easter has come, even if we cannot see it, and cannot recognize it. If you recall, in the Gospels, there is a time when Jesus heals the man who is blind. And, in healing the man, he has to touch his eyes twice. The first time he touches the man, he’s able to see, but it’s blurry, and he can’t really make out any exact figures. And so, Jesus touches him again, a second time, and he is healed, and is able to see clearly.
My brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the resurrection is already in our midst. It is already Easter. But you and I, right now, cannot see it clearly. It is vague, it is blurry, it does not seem, or feel, or even look like Easter, but it is.
That is the hope of Jesus in the garden with Mary, even while she is still filled with grief, the resurrection is with her. The two strangers on the road to Emmaus, who are grief-stricken that their Lord is not with them, cannot recognize that Jesus is already there. For Mary, for the two strangers on the road to Emmaus, Easter takes time to show up, even though it’s already here.
In this season of Easter that you and I will celebrate in 2020, at first glance, it might not look, or see, or feel like Easter, but my brothers and sister, Easter is here.
The Lord is risen.
Christ is risen indeed.
And, in due time, by continuing to look, and being open to being touched by the risen Christ, you and I will see, Easter is here.