Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)
Alleluia! Jesus is risen! His resurrection reveals a new kind of victory and strength. Easter reminds us that God’s love for each one of us is stronger than fear, illness, or even death.
Like so many of you, our family has struggled to get through this uncertain time. Just as we were adjusting to the realities of the coronavirus, my husband, Pat, had a heart attack. At first, fear overwhelmed me, and all I could think about were the “what ifs.” What if I couldn’t stay with him? What if he doesn’t make it? My mind raced with the possibilities—and none of them ended well. I felt helpless and hopeless.
But as I prayed, the Lord became very present to me. I felt him through the love of our children over the phone. I saw him in the assurances of the healthcare workers, who gently told me that I had to leave the hospital but that they would take excellent care of my husband. And I heard his voice in the comforting words of family and friends, who lifted us up in prayer and reminded us of the Lord’s faithfulness. In all of this, I encountered Christ’s deep love for Pat and me. He was transforming our fear into hope, even though Pat’s situation remains uncertain.
This is what Easter is all about. Jesus is alive and with us, here and now, in whatever situations we face. We can see him in the sacrifices, generosity, and kindness of others. We recognize his grace in the strength and hope he gives us each day. We know that through his death and resurrection, he has already overcome the trials we face. And so we rejoice, even—and especially—in our struggles.
This is a difficult time for nearly all of us, but we are so blessed that the Lord has given us the gift of his Son, risen from the dead and living in and among us. And we can share that precious gift of faith in Jesus with others, even while we are in this time of social distancing. During this Easter season, we want to offer you two free pamphlets that you can email to your family and friends: Why Does the Resurrection Matter and So What Is the Good News? They can be found at wau.org/parishresources
Although Pat and I don’t know what the future holds, we are trusting in the Lord. Let’s all pray for one another that, regardless of our circumstances, God would strengthen our faith and fill us with the hope that comes from Jesus’ resurrection. We wish you a blessed Easter season!