• Helena Smrcek

Easter Like No Other

It is Friday evening, and we are having dinner, as any other day, even though today is Good Friday. I think of a Facebook post a friend shared on my feed a couple of days ago. She took a photo of her Passover table, stating that she never had thought it would be herself and her husband only, celebrating the holiday, alone.

Our adult children are still living at home, and therefore the immediate family will be together this holiday. Many won’t. This Easter will be a sad and a lonely one for a great number of people, as physical distancing due to the pandemic forbids all gatherings, including family celebration. Many will be missing their loved ones, connecting via phones and tablets.

And perhaps here we can draw a parallel to the first Easter. It is possible that this year we could understand the profound sense of separation and loneliness the followers of our Master experienced that first Easter weekend.

When Jesus was accused, convicted and sentenced, the apostles were stunned. They witnessed firsthand His power to perform miracles and understood that He is the Son of God. How did they reconcile His acceptance of this great wrong, without even a slightest hint of resistance? Did they see Him as lost? Defeated? Overpowered? Did they feel forsaken? Deceived? Abandoned?

Millions worldwide struggle to understand our current situation. History tells us of

similar pandemics, drastically reducing the population in the afflicted areas. Yet, to remember the last epidemic one would have to be over hundred years old. Some of us recall our grandparents retelling some of the stories from the second decade of the last century, as the terrible WWI ended, a disease swept through Europe, claiming more lives then the armed conflict. The grief and devastation must have been overwhelming.

And here we are, a century later. We have modern hospitals, our science created medications to treat illness, our food supply chain is unbroken, there is no major war raging, yet we find ourselves taken hostage by an invisible enemy.

What power does a microscopic virus possess? The power to separate us from our loved ones, devastate our economy, strain our medical system and to take lives. How far have we come in ten decades? How far have we progressed in two millennia?

Grief and suffering connect us all. No matter the technology at our fingertips. A minute virus possessed the power to bring our pride in our achievements to its knees. Yet harsh reality often brings forth the best in people.

My heart swells with every story of human kindness, extended to the neighbours, medical personnel, the ill, and the hungry. The snippets of goodness flood our social media channels and we all feel the power of hope. I wonder if the disciples gathered together, much like we flock to our platforms, for the same purpose. Sharing stories did bring them hope. As they recalled Jesus’ words, there must have been a glimpse of light rooting in their hearts.