Easter Day 2020 will no doubt be a day to be remembered.
Churches used whatever means was available to them to share the celebration. One held drive-in church. The parking lot was full. Families maintained social distancing by staying together in their cars and participating from that vantage point. When they liked the song or agreed with what was being preached, they expressed that by blowing their horns. Yes, I think they will remember that.
Easter egg hunts and other traditions of the day were conspicuous by their absence. Those differences reminded me of an Easter egg hunt of many years ago. My roommate was a secretary and I was teaching at the forestry camp for delinquent boys just a few miles away on Little Shepherd Trail, a gravel road that followed the crest of the mountain about 20 miles to an underdeveloped state park.
The camp was quite accessible. The area was wooded, and walking away, while it would have been possible, was not something they even considered. One of the boys had been in some of my classes when I taught in a local school. I don’t think he ever considered how near home he really was.
We asked and were granted permission to take the boys on an Easter egg hunt. Just three or four miles farther out the trail was an area called a park which was distinguished from its surroundings only by a couple of picnic tables – no water, no restrooms – just a dirt road circling the area.
Some of my family had come to spend the weekend with us. Together, we loaded up the boys who wanted to participate and took them out there. In light of what is usual in Easter egg hunts by today’s standards, it was a very simple afternoon. But considering their lack of activity because of being incarcerated, the boys enjoyed the freedom we granted them.
I imagine all of those kids, now young men, remember that Easter egg hunt. In somewhat the same way, we will remember 2020’s Easter because, as a nation, we are on lock-down. Usual large family gatherings just didn’t happen. Staying isolated from other people by being in the car, we went for a drive on Easter afternoon, going nowhere in particular, just getting out of the house. Very few houses had more than the usual two or three cars in the driveway.
Just as those teen boys looked forward to their day of freedom, so we as a nation look forward to the day we can freely go about business as usual – the day we will be free to do those activities we always took as our rights – going to stores and restaurants that are not available to us today.
We call it getting back to normal, but it will be a new normal. Some businesses will change. Some businesses will probably not survive.
So what can we look forward to?
The One who never changes has promised to be with us always, through good times and bad. He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:4). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Our new normal will come as no surprise to Jesus, the One whose resurrection we celebrate on Easter. Just as He was resurrected, so we who are trusting Him will also be resurrected to spend eternity with Him. Just imagine yourself cuddled up at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His love for all time.
Yes, Easter 2020 will be one to be remembered, but you can make it even more memorable by inviting Jesus to live in your heart. Won’t you do that today?