This has been a most unusual Easter season. We had hardly entered into Lent when it became obvious that we needed to withdraw from public meetings. The usual Lenten dinners were gone and Holy Week was available online.
Then finally Easter: no palm branches and donkey to start the week; no church filled with Lilies to celebrate the Day. Jesus is now the risen Lord and we have had forty days to prepare for his leaving. The Ascension is almost anti-climactic. The disciples are still in shock, suffering the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, then the loving words on the Road to Emmaus and a return with the words "peace be with you". Jesus prepares to leave physically for good.
The disciple's question him about the expectation they still have that hasn't been fulfilled "is this when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" All along Jesus has been saying that the Kingdom has already come, the Kingdom of God is here, now, not something coming in the future, not a power grab. When John the Baptist asks from prison 'are you the one?' Jesus answers simply: 'look around you - the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk'. The love of God is manifest in all the world, in the face of your neighbor, the prodigal son, the Samaritan who cares for the injured man on the side of the road, the woman at the well.
Maybe as a result of our forced fast for this year
's Easter season we can understand what Jesus was trying to say: It's not something in the future, a special cure, a vaccine or a magic pill. It is what it is - hard times - but also the Kingdom of God, now. We can continue to look for something else or we can accept the life, teachings and claims of Jesus. We are living in the Kingdom of God surrounded by opportunities to be God's agents of healing and love. Opportunities to feel the love and acceptance extended to us through his Son and his life among us.
Happy Easter, Christ is risen, risen indeed. We live now in the Kingdom of God.