There has probably never been an Easter when so many people could readily identify with the experience of Jesus’s disciples when they gathered “behind locked doors” in the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion. It was a self-imposed lockdown as fear and alarm filled their hearts and minds. All of a sudden, their world had been turned upside down. Their Master had been brutally put to death and for all they knew they might be next.
Today once again the world has been turned upside down, this time by a deadly virus spreading rapidly across the world. No wonder fear and alarm fill many hearts and minds. No wonder that many find themselves behind locked doors, whether through a Government-imposed lockdown or by their own decision to guard life and health.
The moment that made all the difference to the disciples behind their locked doors was when the risen Jesus appeared and said: “Peace be with you.” Peace must have been the last thing they were expecting at this juncture but, of course, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead changed everything.
As we in our time are met with the devastating spread of the coronavirus we would not be human if we did not experience fear, alarm and panic. Yet for us also Jesus has risen from the dead. To us also he speaks the word: “Peace be with you.” May the peace, joy and hope of the risen Christ be ours as he meets us in our lockdown with all the promise of Easter morning.
Easter blessings to you and your family Ken.
By now your Easter Day in Malawi must already be over and night will have fallen. But I know that however dark the world may seem with the relentless spread of the coronavirus the light that dawned on the day of resurrection is unquenchable
I imagine that your are at present limited in the distances you can travel from your home, and you will be unable to continue with the work you were called it do. To fill your tine have you already started on your next book – and have you at last been sent your copy of “Christianity in East and Southeast Asia”? I was intrigued to see, in a recent post of yours, the photo of the young Mongolian with his (obviously treasured) copy of the book containing his chapter. It is truly heartening to hear of new, young g churches springing up across the world.
Here on Seil and Luing there has been much quiet and expert work going on to bring weekly services to everyone through the creation of videos –you will have heard, I am sure of the kind offer of help in this from Gary and Stuart (I forget their surnames!)who would have been out of work because there are at present no weddings they can make videos of. I had to have help in getting linked in to these, but Iain Cruickshanks has got me sorted out so that I was able, this morning, to watch and listen to the wonderful service led by Martin Waddell, with input from Myra, Kenneth Stevens and Maggie Thorpe on piano. Such an apt an d appropriate service it was, and I am sure many logging in will have been non-churchgoers.
And the famed Luing community spirit is flourishing – so many, many arms flung (metaphorically) wide to embrace the isolated and vulnerable, and a great amount of thought has been put in to think of new ways to help.
With the date for your panned visit home and to Argyll now only some six or seven weeks away it is looking increasingly unlikely that it will actually happen, We will be so sorry not to see you then (as will your own family) nd hope it can be arranged for some other date in the not too far distant future.
The writing of this message has been interrupted by several ‘phone calls, so I do apologize if it has ended up somewhat disjointed. It comes with my love,