Have you noticed a louder & clearer dawn chorus of birds with fewer engines running? Did you see Arran’s cloud-shrouded mountains emerge with sharper sight, aided by sunshine and cold front? As time stands still and we wonder how long Coronavirus’s grip will hold us in fear and act as a relative straight jacket, do we more deeply appreciate our usual freedom to see & hug friends & family? As the Covid-19 stranglehold continues are we realising ‘who our neighbours are’? As Footsie, World Markets & businesses pick up the pieces after free-fall, are we learning to really value our National Health Service? With billions spent daily on the arms race, do we wish we’d heard prophets like Bill Gates earlier and invested more in the race for a credible counter to this invisible global enemy? With our backs against the wall is community resolve mounting to overcome this diabolical enemy ‘together’?
YES will be the answer to most of these questions, I suspect. I appreciate that for many it’s chaos not calm clarity which reigns and that I see things from a privileged position. I can’t imagine how you tell someone both blind & deaf about ‘social distancing’! I feel sorely: for the dementia sufferer for whom each day, even every minute, is a groundhog day of confusion; for people in a fog of anxiety feeling cornered; for some of our over 70’s feeling undervalued at the bottom of the Covid-19 priority list for attention; for parents feeling overwhelmed & children imprisoned; for brothers & sisters in Africa & India, who tell me the needs are 10 times more overwhelming than ours in the UK, etc.
But standing with ‘only closest family’ socially distanced at a graveside this past week I found a greater conviction than normal that Jesus is vaccine & victor over death. And on Easter Sunday, as night gave way to morning, and more people connected with the Easter Story & Message of Hope than for a long time via internet, radio & TV, a great view & vista opened up of Jesus ‘The Corona Christ’.
The coronavirus is named by its likeness, under microscope, to a ‘crown’. Like the aura around sun or moon the coronavirus’s spikes seem to act like a crown around it. But that’s as far as the comparison goes. Covid-19 is powerful & world changing, but it does not have the universal authority which Christ claimed when he walked this earth nor the power of God to raise the dead which the Easter Story celebrates.
As St Paul describes the impact of Christ’s death & resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:55 (MSG): “Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”
In our streamed Easter Sunday service Dorothy led us through Holy Week to the awesome realisation of Jesus’ victory over death, celebrating this glorious hope of everlasting life through a ‘Resurrection Tree’. Names of our young folk, including babies soon to be born, were prayed for & painted on eggs, which were hung, along with colourful streamers, on a tree near to the manse. On Easter Monday a photo of this tree even made it onto the national BBC Breakfast Show! And people have been adding their own colourful hangings. It continues as a sign of hope, raising smiles among passers-by. Though your name may not be on this tree, be sure you are just as precious to Jesus. With fresh clarity & perspicuity I see the Servant King leading us through this daunting period of history. King of kings & Lord of Lords, The Corona Christ, worthy of our trust and intent on helping our prayers reach God’s Throne of Grace, Happy Easter My Friends!