Russell Moore: How Coronavirus Will Change Easter

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FGGAM NEWS received this email last night from Russell Moore of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Dear friend,

Happy Easter!

This Easter is different for all of us. Our churches are empty, and many of us are not able to gather with our family members and friends to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we normally would. Given that, I’ve written an op-ed for Christianity Today about a facet of the Easter story that has added importance in light of this moment. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it this evening.

Empty churches, all around the world, on Easter Sunday represent an image that, up until this year, would have made sense only in a fever-pitched 1990s end-times novel. And yet, in the middle of a global pandemic, that will now be our reality. The grief that Christians face now, about missing their church services for necessary social distancing, will multiply when it comes to the preeminent day on the Christian calendar. But, perhaps if we pay attention, we can see something new and holy about Easter in quarantine. And that something is fear.

At first glance, fear seems alien to Easter, belonging to Good Friday. Even our hymnody seems to reflect this. “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” is, in both lyric and tune, foreboding while “Up From the Grave He Arose” is so triumphant in both that, with different lyrics, it could be a national anthem or an advertising jingle. In a sense this is right. Good Friday is meant to evoke the emotions the first disciples experienced when they thought all was lost, when even the noon skies above them turned dark. Easter is meant to evoke a new dawn, the truth that “everything sad is coming untrue.”

Click here to read the full op-ed. 

For the Kingdom,

Russell Moore of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

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