Devotional From Rev. Dr. Jody Moore
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death.
In the midst of this pandemic, during this Easter season I have tried to focus on the basics, on what is most important. And there is nothing more important than remembering the power of Christ’s resurrection this Easter. Christ has the power to bring new life out of death and to bring us fresh hope today.
I always loved Dr Seuss’s
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
. As a child, I read the book often and watched the old television special every year. My children have already picked up a love for the story of the Grinch who tried to stop Christmas from coming but found that there was more to Christmas than presents and packages. Joseph and Anna even like to act out the story and pretend that the Grinch is stealing Christmas presents before returning the gifts to the residents of Whoville. A couple of people shared the following story with me. I hope you enjoy this new take on how the COVID-19 Virus couldn’t stop Easter from coming.
A 2020 Easter Tale Based on
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
By Kristi Bothur (With a nod to Dr. Seuss
Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began
Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.
People were sick, hospitals full,
Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.
As winter gave way to the promise of spring,
The virus raged on, touching peasant and king.
People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen.
They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned.
April approached and churches were closed.
“There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed.
“There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out.
No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.”
Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest.
The world was focused on masks and on tests.
“Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed.
“Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.”
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.
The virus pressed on; it just would not relent.
The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed.
The virus still menaced, the people, estranged.
“Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling.
“They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming.
“They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo.
“That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.”
So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear.
And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies.
It started down low, then it started to rise.
But the sound wasn’t depressed.
Why, this sound was triumphant!
It couldn’t be so!
But it grew with abundance!
The world stared around, popping its eyes.
Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise!
Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small,
Was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all!
It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine
Stood puzzling and puzzling.
“Just how can it be?”
“It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies,
It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.”
Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before.
“Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
And what happened then?
Well....the story’s not done.
What will YOU do?
Will you share with that one
Or two or more people needing hope in this night?
Will you share the source of your life in this fight?
The churches are empty - but so is the tomb,
And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom.
So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,
As the virus still rages all around, everywhere.
May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people.
May the world see the church is not a building or steeple.
May the world find Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection,
May the world find Joy in a time of dejection.
May 2020 be known as the year of survival,
But not only that -
Let it start a revival.”
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Pilate sent guards to watch over Jesus’ tomb, but they couldn’t keep that first Easter from coming. Even though Easter in 2020 wasn’t celebrated in the same ways we have come to expect, that didn’t stop God’s light from shining through. Our Easter celebrations and the joy of Easter have come just the same.
We thank you, O God, that there is nothing in all creation that can stop your holy plans. There is nothing that can hold back your goodness and mercy. That first Easter, we discovered that not even the grave could hold your Son captive. We pray that as your joy and new life are entering our world that we would open our hearts and lives to receive them. We continue to pray for your grace and peace to come to us during these troubled times, for we need your care, your comfort, and your guidance every day. In Jesus’ name, we pray,
Grace and Peace,