There was a stage when the local church head office had to deal with 4,000 displaced people. Displaced because nearly 100 churches and many homes had been burnt down by a group of fanatics. The University abuted the church property and our home was one that had previously been built for foreigners working with them. We weren’t directly involved until a friend in Australia sent a sizeable gift which he wanted us to equitably hand out to the needy; with stipulations we did it through the church heavies.
Ministers of every Christian denomination must feel that Easter in their calendars has been dealt a similar blow this year. The people got together and rebuilt their churches and I was asked to be present at the re-opening of several of them. They were rejoicing – because having suffered for their faith they were now in better shape than before. In one instance they even built a school for the children of their persecutors!
Easter means something to everyone! Travel, holidays, sport, religion.
There are always school and maybe university breaks. There are major sporting events; many go camping; it is a major holiday period.
The breaks have extended this year into areas where no one wanted them to go; people stood down from their jobs; many businesses, leisure spots, sporting events being closed! No travel permitted! And it’s no holiday at all, with the 2 person and 1.5 metre rules in place. There are resultant extreme financial problems for many.
This is all very sad, and affects us all, some very severely. It is not to be belittled, but it’s not the fault of Easter. It’s THAT virus!
Let’s remember, however, that Easter was not originally meant to be primarily a ‘holiday’ but a ‘holy day’. A time free from work, an opportunity to worship. The heart of ‘Easter’ is a religious thing. I think many will miss the services of the Holy (Passion) week – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday. We’re told that many go to church just at Easter and Christmas. Well this year they’ll miss out on Easter.
When I was young I wondered why they said that Jesus rose on the third day. He died Friday and Sunday is only 2 days later. It all made sense after I went to Africa. If I made the mistake on, for example, a Tuesday of telling a patient to come back in 14 days (there was no word for a fortnight), they always came back on the Monday. If I said come back for a check in 4 days they always (to my counting) came back in 3. You had to get used to it! Today was counted as day 1. Thus Friday, He died day 1, Saturday, in the grave day 2, Sunday – He rose on the third day.
The government can, and probably correctly, has cancelled public gatherings. They cannot cancel history, so our house will meditate and rejoice!
And I remember those in other lands who all year, every year, face Governmental restrictions and persecution, and I am glad that I can at least celebrate without fear in my own home.