“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.”
– Pope John Paul II
No one could have guessed what this week, Holy Week 2020 would look like.
No one could have guessed what that very first holy week would look like.
I think often about how the disciples may have felt late on that first Good Friday, and the following Saturday. Can you imagine the feeling of confusion, of uncertainty, of deep sadness?
Similar, probably, to how many of us feel now, amidst a sudden and tragic global pandemic. “God, why?” is a question I’ve asked many times. Perhaps you have, too.
“God, why?” is a question, surely, the disciples asked in those agonizing hours after Jesus carried that cross to Calvary.
Here in April 2020, across the world, we’re isolated. We’re uncertain of what the future holds, and so we wait. And there, in first century Judea, the followers of Jesus were uncertain, and they waited.
We have the gift of hindsight. We know, now, what the following days held for those early believers: the most important event in history, a victory that would be the hope for all mankind. All of the promises of God were true after all.
But here in 2020, in a world where terms like “social distancing” and “shelter in place” have become part of our daily vernacular, everything feels shaky again. The reality is we don’t know what the future holds. But we never have.
After Jesus resurrected and appeared to the disciples, He left them with some final words before he ascended into heaven: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and to the ends of the Earth.”
This was his final message. This is no coincidence. If these are the words Jesus left his closest friends with, then these are the words our very lives must be built upon.
As I look toward an Easter service from my living room, and a still rising number of deaths from this horrible virus, I don’t know exactly how God will use all of this for His glory and our good, but I know that he promises to do just that. In these very uncertain times, the voice of a good Father is saying to you and me what Jesus said to the disciples all those years ago: Go, make disciples. Love the poor. Care for the orphan and the widow. Do as Jesus himself did.
So while we wait, we work. And we have hope: the hope of a people who know that Sunday is coming. The Resurrection is true. All the promises of God find their YES in Him. Hallelujah.
~ Rachel Trammell, Sponsorship & Program Manager