April 19 - May 10: COVID-19 has brought upon us a very different season than we could have every imagined we would be facing right now. We are in the Easter season, a time that normally celebrates new life and praises God for the glory of resurrection. And yet, right now, it feels as if we are in Exile. Looking at the juxtaposition of these two ideas, Exile and Easter, we will learn from the prophet Jeremiah lessons from exile in the wake of the resurrection.
The role of the Church is to bear witness to Jesus and His love and power, at work to save the world. The immeasurable power of Christ, filling up the church, and overflowing through the Church, to fill all in all. That is the hope, that is the glorious inheritance. That is the immeasurable power.
It may be Easter in exile, but we are not left on our own to fend for ourselves. We are empowered by the risen Christ to claim that new life, eternal love, and God’s glory are designed for all people. This means not only feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and offering our thoughts and prayers to those who are harmed by the sin of racism; it also means doing the hard work of leading systemic change that keeps people hungry, keeps people homeless, and inequitably causes harm to communities of color.
It is Easter in Exile, and God has a promise, that in Christ, in the resurrection, a new covenant is born. May this season of exile in our lives lead us to claim God’s promise not just for ourselves, but for everyone born, that everyone may know God’s almighty love.
Build your homes. Live in them. Plant gardens. Go for an isolated walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Seek the well-being of the community in which you live. Learn to live as Easter people in a time of exile.