Corona Sabbath 4 (Easter) Reflection Text

Date: Easter Sunday April 12, 2020
Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

In the story of the burial of Jesus we are told of a stone closing the tomb. The
image is of a permanently shut resting place. We are not told of a tomb with a door
or a gate. We are told of something that is sealed shut with a large rock. Jesus is
closed off. Locked in.

In the stories of the resurrection, we hear of the stone being moved, rolled away.
The Gospel of Matthew tells of an earthquake that makes this happen. In any
case, we are told that the stone is moved, the grave is open. The obstacle to
accessing Jesus has been removed.

And we are told that the tomb is empty. Jesus is not there. He is no longer
confined. He is not longer captive. He is not held back.

Jesus, his love and his power are present in the world. Active. Free. No
restrictions. No lockdown. Divine Love is loose in the world!

Nothing can contain or confine the power of God’s Love. So, even though we are
restricted by shelter-in-place, and safer-at-home, on lockdown, love can find us
Love comes to us. And that love sets us free.

When the disciples and the women encounter Jesus after the crucifixion, he tells
them to spread the world. To share the love. To be part of unleashing Divine Lov
on the whole world. Everywhere. No limits or restrictions. We are the evidence
of the effectiveness of their witness.

So this Easter, open yourself to receiving the Love. Let yourself be renewed by the
power of Divine Love that is stronger than death. Breathe in that love and that
peace that is loose and free in the world.

And know that you are needed to share that love with others. Find someone who
needs encouragement and offer it. See if someone needs help and offer your
assistance. Know of someone who is lonely? Contact them. Consider how to
show support for essential workers, and healthcare workers who are extremely
stressed. Look for ways to be in solidarity with those who are financially stretched
by this pandemic.

Maybe you feel like you are just too down yourself. Think of someone in your
situation and reach out. Maybe you feel heartbroken for all the lives lost and
families grieving. Offer an expression of comfort to someone in that situation even
if it is someone you don’t personally know.

Wherever we are in body or spirit, we can be part of spreading the love that has
been loosed in the world through Jesus.

Yes, in these days of lockdown, how we long to be free! Not just free to move
around and. interact, but to be free of injustice, free of economic scarcity, free of
greed, free of disparity and corruption, free of misallocated resources, free of
nationalistic posturing and partisan blaming.

Easter reminds us that the tomb is open. The way is clear. We have been invited
out into a different world. A world where love reigns. Unleashed in the world.
Drawing us into new life. And no power can stop it. We have but to come out and
live fully and freely the way of heaven here on this earth.

We have seen much in these corona days. We have had time to look, to listen, to
read, to learn, to reflect.

William Wilberforce, a politician and abolitionist of the 19th century challenges us:
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did
not know.” Amen.

(Click HERE if you wish to see the post containing the video of this text.)

Author: Rev. Wells

Pastor of Lakewood United Church of Christ since 1991. Graduate of Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary of New York.

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