Easter Pastoral Letter

Quebec City, Easter 2020

Beloved in Christ,

This is an Easter like none other we have ever experienced.

Most of us won’t be gathering around tables for traditional Easter feasts with family and friends because most of us are in isolation, some because we are ill with COVID-19. Easter lilies will go unpurchased and Easter eggs unhunted. None of us will be gathering in our churches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In many ways, Easter this year will simply feel like an uninvited and unwelcome extension of Lent.

We are living through a defining moment in human history. This pandemic is testing our individual and collective assumptions, resolve, and capacities. For some of us, it may also be testing our faith.

The faith of Jesus’ disciples was tested as they witnessed the painful and unjust death of their friend, who in the end died in isolation. Jesus didn’t admonish his friends’ very human lack of faith, but restored it with his victory of life over death.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the defining moment in human history. Through the resurrection, God in Christ declares that death is not the end of our story and that all things will be redeemed. Our Easter hope is that even as we journey together through this valley of the shadow of death, God travels with us, and is even now helping redeem this calamity for God’s good purposes in the world God loves.

Seeing signs of redemption when we’re in the midst of disaster can be difficult. The disciples had trouble recognizing the resurrected Jesus after the disaster that was his execution. But God’s redeeming love is still at work, even if our troubled circumstances make it difficult for us to see.

This is why, in the words of an ancient hymn often sung or said at Christian funerals, “even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.” This is why, even in the midst of an Eastertide that still outwardly feels like Lent, we still proclaim with confidence: “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” This is why, even in the midst of the fear and uncertainty of this pandemic, we reply with sure and certain hope: “The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers OGS

COVID-19 and congregational finances
April 2020 Quebec Diocesan Gazette