This time last year, the world was gripped with fear and uncertainty, as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. It has been catastrophic, sickening more than 130 million people and claiming the lives of almost 3 million to date. Few areas on earth were unaffected.
For Christians, today, Easter Sunday, marks the event epitomizing new life, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his promise of eternal life. Jewish people are at the end of the Passover observance, celebrating the Biblical events leading to the liberation of Hebrew slaves of Egypt.
The pandemic created a makeshift Easter observance in the U.S. Churches held virtual services using internet tools like Zoom and Facebook live, or drive-in gatherings with worshipers staying safely in their vehicles. There were few if any family gatherings around an Easter feast.
This year, the celebration of new life has a new layer of meaning; while the resurrection signifies the promise of everlasting life, a quiver of vaccines and a subsiding virus suggest that at least one threat to our lives on earth might soon be vanquished.
It’s difficult not to notice the emergence of spring around us. Dogwoods, Bradford pear trees, cherry trees, Camillias, azaleas — all are in full bloom, adding a jarring splash of color to our landscape. Even the pollen haze and the sniffles it causes are welcome to some degree, as yellow dusting ushers in new life.