Easter will be different this year but it will still be good

Easter background with fresh spring flowers

This Easter in East Devon, Christians will be celebrating - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As I write, I am preparing for Easter Sunday. There is great excitement in my congregation as we are meeting together inside for the first time in a year. 

Being a fresh expression of church, we do not have our own building but worship in a school and part of our care to them has been staying away. But as it is the beginning of the school holidays, we can be together.

But, it won’t be “service as usual”. There will be social distancing; masks; no refreshments; no lingering to chat afterwards; no singing. 

“Can we shout ‘Alleluia Christ is risen?’” asked someone hopefully. No. We can murmur it quietly though. And some people will be joining us from home, technology willing, as they still do not feel comfortable mixing.

Across East Devon, Christians will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in church, or on their own, via Youtube, Zoom or the radio. For all of us, it will be different but it will be good. It will be Easter.

On the first Easter Sunday there were many different ways that people encountered the risen Jesus. 

Some first heard the news from angels, some were baffled by the empty tomb, some confused Jesus with a gardener or a stranger on the road. Some met him alone, some in a crowded locked room. He told them not to be afraid.

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“Peace be with you,” he said as he talked and ate and showed off his wounds. 

However, wherever they met Jesus they were changed by the wonderful, amazing news of the power of God’s love through the resurrection. 

That first Easter he was not expected but surprised and delighted his followers with his presence. 

My prayer for us this Easter, whether we are still locked away, walking alone or gathered in small groups, is that we too will encounter the risen Jesus and be able to say: “Alleluia, Christ is risen!” 

Even if we have to do it quietly.

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