An Easter Reflection by Peter Noteboom
This Easter is like any other Easter. Today, many of our members and friends are remembering the story of Jesus being welcomed into the capital city, sharing a Passover meal, betrayal by his friends, extravagant foot washing, criminal conviction by his community, humiliation on the way to carrying out capital punishment, his death, and then reappearance to his closest friends in a nearby garden. A crazy, outrageous, even scandalous story.
This Easter is also unlike any other Easter. The story is usually retold and re-enacted several times this season in community. The communal retelling of a triumphant entry into the capital city, self-sacrifice, extravagant care for one another through foot washing, reliving the shame of abandoning a friend and leader, darkness and fear, and then glorious colourful light, the sound of trumpets, and singing about life overcoming death, hope overcoming darkness, love overcoming fear. All of that is happening at home, connected by screens rather than in person and in physical touch with one another. An incongruous, but nonetheless meaningful and familiar story.
This Easter seems less revolutionary than any other Easter. Today’s story of sacrifice, fear, heroic health care and scientific responders, extravagant love, self-denial through physical distancing, sacrifice of careers and vocations to stay home, sickness, death and the promise of life overcoming death, of hope overcoming darkness, and love overcoming fear doesn’t sound so revolutionary. It sounds familiar.
Thank God. Christ is among us.
Peter Noteboom is General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches