For the first time in a year, we are starting to see a glimmer of hope for life post-COVID-19. We finally made it past 2020 – a year many of us would like to become a distant memory. With the introduction of variants of the virus, the world will tell us the pandemic is far from over.
In these moments, the celebration of Easter can be the perfect reminder of finding beauty in the midst of great despair. Although nearly 80% of Americans celebrate Easter each year, most associate their commemorations with egg hunting rather than religious practices.
For Christians, the holiday is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. The Friday before Easter–Good Friday–is the remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross.
These two days may resemble what we are currently experiencing as we move from a season of discouragement to a promising future.
A sense of gloom and anguish surrounded Jesus’ death. There are several references in the Bible about the darkness that took over when Jesus was crucified. Luke 23:44-45 says, "It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining."
In the days after Jesus’ death while his disciples waited for his return, some started to give up hope. Luke 24:17 describes two of his disciples faces as downcast when they found out that Jesus was missing from the tomb.
In a conversation, they said, "but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:21).
Many of us feel a loss of hope right now. As experts warn the pandemic is far from over, we may feel darkness surrounding us.
For some, this has been a season of extreme loneliness and loss of personal interaction. Four in 10 adults have reported anxiety or depression disorder symptoms due to the pandemic in the U.S.
Others are still facing the agony of losing a loved one with more than half a million deaths recorded in our nation.
The economic implications have been catastrophic. Fifteen percent of adults lost their job because of the outbreak of the virus, with half of them still unemployed.
Small business revenues declined, low-income families experienced income shocks and many families are behind in paying rent. It can be hard to find a silver lining as many have never encountered a situation like this before.
This year, Easter is the perfect reflection of hope in a world of angst. The resurrection of Jesus reminds us of the faithfulness of God.
Colossians 1:13-14 states, "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
It may seem hard to find hope when we face many uncertainties.
Our nation has encountered moments like this before.
America survived the Spanish Flu in 1918 and persevered through two world wars.
A year ago, Easter celebrations were out of the question. Now, many churches will offer in-person ceremonies with safety precautions. Recent days have shown us that there are signs of returning to normal.
Nearly 14 % of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. As many as 70 million people have recovered from the virus around the world. Day by day we are presented with the potential of returning back to what life was before.
This Easter, we have the hope and promise seen in the resurrection of Jesus. We cannot allow the clamor around us to cloud our vision. The pandemic may be a dark moment in our history, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
If we learned anything from the pandemic in 1918, it’s to remain vigilant and to hold onto the hope and promise of a better tomorrow.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. Read Kent Ingle's Reports — More Here.
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