There’s no doubt that this Easter Sunday is different from those in years past. We’re not gathering together in churches to worship or for brunch with family and friends. But this beautiful Sunday in Wilmington, Delaware reminded me that the hope and sense of renewal that Easter, and the spring season, brings is more important than ever.
Normally, my Sundays begin with an early morning run to the East Coast Greenway and over to Bellevue State Park. On most weekends, my run at daybreak is a solitary one. Today was different, though. Here in the First State, Spring is evident in all of its glory. And with the warmer weather and blooming flowers, the greenway is alive with far more people than I normally see on my weekend runs.
There are other differences, too. As our community, state and country continue to battle this coronavirus pandemic, many people were wearing masks and gloves. While families clustered together, people practiced appropriate social distancing and gave each other space. It’s certainly not how things used to look, and it would be easy to feel scared or disconnected from others in this new normal.
But there are welcome changes, as well! These days, there are a lot more waves on the greenway and in Bellevue than usual. Strangers smile at one another. And, even though we are physically further apart, there is a strong sense of community and feeling that we are all, in fact, in this together.
Like I’m sure many of you did, my wife Martha and I went to church this morning – in our kitchen! There, thanks to the gift of technology, a truncated Easter Sunday worship service came alive on my laptop, complete with hymns, prayer and a timeless message of hope from our pastor. No matter what your faith tradition might be, may we all be reminded today that, even in the darkest times, there is light and hope for better days ahead.
As the sun rose in the eastern sky on my run this morning, I felt some of that darkness begin to lift, ever so slowly. Clearly, we have an enormous amount of work to do in the weeks and months ahead before it truly begins to feel – in Ronald Reagan’s words – like “It’s morning in America.” But if we continue to work hard, be guided by both science and by our faith, refuse to give up and make sure to take care of each other, we’ll be able to put this tragic pandemic in our rear view mirror long before the next Easter and Passover roll around.
To all those who are celebrating today, I wish you a joyous and Happy Easter! If we continue to work together, we will soon be on the road to recovery and renewal. God bless.