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My Turn: Understanding the real meaning of Easter

For the Monitor
Published: 4/8/2020 6:15:20 AM
Modified: 4/8/2020 6:15:10 AM

It is important to say that Easter is not canceled. What is canceled is in-person worship. Easter is not about our ability to get large crowds into our congregations. Of course, that is what usually happens because it is the biggest and most important Sunday of the year for Christians. And not having in-person worship has an enormous spiritual and economic impact on the people I serve.

But ultimately Easter is not about any of that. It is not about big wonderful worship services. It is not about Easter breakfast, Easter egg hunts or dressing up. Easter is about an eternal spiritual mystery. It is about how we humans understand ourselves and the world we live in.

Is this world only about the physical plane, or is there something else? Is there something deeper in us? I wish with all my heart that we were having in-person Easter worship this year. However, it will not change the essential truth that we celebrate on that Sunday. Deep down in my soul, in my heart, in my gut is a voice that says, “There is more to life than this.”

There is more than my job, my house, my flesh and bone. There is also a connection that we have to one another, to the earth, to the stars. There is a love that is so powerful not even death can stop it.

The first Easter morning was a quiet affair. It did not have a band playing, a big fancy sermon or a choir singing. It was just a couple of women going to show their love to a friend by caring for his dead body. It was people gathered in a room in fear when their teacher, brother and friend came to remind them about having faith. It was something that brought about awe, fear, confusion, joy and amazement.

As we are physically distancing ourselves, this Easter will be different, but it will still be at its core about deep spiritual truths, self-sacrificing love, awe and faith overcoming our fear. May all of us know these deep spiritual truths. May we know the love that is greater than this current moment. May we know that there is more to our lives than what we are currently experiencing. May it produce in us love for our ourselves, our neighbors and our planet. Happy Easter!

(The Rev. Jonathan K. Hopkins lives in Concord.)

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