With the pandemic many people are feeling bummed about Easter. Many are quarantined, most states have a stay at home order, and we are all struggling to make it from day to day. Half of America is out of work and are struggling just to pay bills, let alone put food on the table. But Easter will go on. There won’t be a sunrise service at church, Easter egg hunts, and family get-togethers, but Easter will go on. More than ever before we need the Lord and we need to celebrate his sacrifice for us.
Easter isn’t just about getting together with family, the Easter bunny, and egg hunts. It’s much more important than those usual traditions. It’s about God sacrificing His only son to save us from sin. It’s about Jesus giving His life for mere mortals so they can be forgiven for the wrong they do. It’s about Jesus rising from the dead and ascending into heaven so we too will go to heaven when we pass. No virus can take this away from us. We have forgiveness because of the sacrifices God and Jesus made for us. How wonderful is that? It’s magnificent.
The COVID-19 can’t take away Easter from us. It has taken a lot from us, but not this special holiday. We may all be away from our families and we may not be able to get dressed in our best clothes and worship at church, but we can still celebrate. Even if you live alone or if there are just two of you, you can celebrate.
I’m a cashier. Usually this time of year just about every cart has a ham and the makings of a dinner. Instead this year people’s carts have cleaning and disinfectant supplies along with food to hold them over for a week or two so they won’t have to go out in public. There are a few hams going through, but nothing like usual. Many are saying they are not celebrating Easter. They say it’ll be just another day stuck at home.
I’ve been hoping that the count of people in Erie County would go down so my husband and I can go to my parents for Easter. Every year Mom puts together a wonderful meal. I always bring the yams. It seems to be my designated dish that I bring to each holiday. Mom always makes a bunny cake. The cake is the Easter bunny’s face with a bow and ears. The face is covered in coconut, the eyes are gumdrops, the mouth licorice, and the bow tie decorated in gumdrops. The cake is carrot cake. We usually eat it later in the day after our dinner settles. Then we talk about everything that we can think of.
This year we won’t be able to do the holiday with my parents. I bought two slices of ham, ingredients for string bean casserole, and we have boxed scalloped potatoes. I still have to figure out what we will have for dessert. After dinner, I’ll call my parents and text my other family members. Then Lou and I will sit down with the Bible and read the Easter story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We will go online to listen to our pastor giving her sermon. Even though we can’t be with family, we will celebrate.
Times are bad in our world right now. I wake up each morning with my stomach twisted in knots. I struggle through a day of work where I face hundreds of people. Some are grateful I am working, some are mad because we are out of things, and some yell at me when I remind them to follow the rules. I fight my fear of catching COVID-19 and anxiety to make it day to day. My husband is laid off and we are trying to figure out what bills we can pay with my check and if he’ll ever get his unemployment.
In a time like this among my fears, anxieties, and worries, I need Jesus and God more than ever. I need a reminder of what God gave up for us, how Jesus suffered on the cross for us, and how Jesus rose from the dead. I need the Heavenly Father and Holy Son to make it through each day. Easter to me is a celebration of how wonderful our Heavenly Father and Holy Son are. Who else would sacrifice His son for me, a sinner? Who else would die a painful death on a cross so I would be forgiven?
Don’t give up on Easter. Celebrate it. Even if you’re by yourself, celebrate. Video chat, text or talk on the phone with family. Fix yourself a meal. Pull out the Bible and read about Jesus’s death and resurrection. Watch a sermon online and praise the Lord. Rejoice, for Jesus is a live and he will deliver us from these traumatic times.
For the first time since I worked at Giant Eagle, the store will be closed on Easter. I can’t wait to celebrate Easter with my husband and praise Jesus and God. This will help me keep going in the light of recovery.