Though I’m generally most comfortable sharing subjective commentary on life and wine, the extraordinary circumstances of today’s world, combined with the extraordinary circumstances we celebrate on Easter, has prompted a different kind of writing.
The feelings and thoughts on my heart this week manifested in a spoken word poem, “Easter 2020,” which I’ve decided to share with you this Easter as something different…
Because this Easter does in fact feel different.
And because spoken word poetry can be hard to read as straight text because it’s difficult to capture the rhythm and beat, I even made a cheesy video with some sample editing software to go along with it.
May his resurrection renew your faith in our ability to overcome death…pandemic or otherwise!
He is risen indeed! Cheers
Imagine Easter, the first one, amid COVID-19
Jesus rides in on a donkey, but mostly unseen.
No one gathered on the streets. Maybe a few people notice and applaud from balconies
Waving palms or hanging laundry, exchanging pleasantries
With their neighbors within shouting distance
Because there’s been insistence
For social compliance and quarantine
And defiance could mean
And Death is already on the docket this week.
Actually, death’s been all they’ve talked about for weeks.
Imagine Jesus, and the twelve, in the upper room
Gathered together cause he knows what’s coming soon.
From the outside, this meeting will not look essential,
But Jesus says, “For this meeting it’s preferential
To shelter-in-place here with me.
Because I’m the shelter in this place here you see.”
He sends them out to gather supplies,
But when they come back they say, “We’ll have to improvise
Because the shelves were empty.”
And Jesus says,” Fear not, I am the bread for you!”
And they think, “Nice metaphor, but they were also out of toilet paper.”
Relaxed around the table, Jesus goes to wash their feet.
Peter says, “Lord not my feet, my hands! Twenty seconds!”
And Jesus says, “Simon, this isn’t about the pandemic.”
But that doesn’t feel quite right to Peter
Because everything has been about the pandemic.
Imagine that night, they go out to pray,
Probably past curfew, but this way they can stay
Six feet apart.
But in his heart,
Jesus knows six feet is the least of his worries.
And in the dark
Of the park
He asks for the cup to be taken.
Meanwhile, the disciples awaken
To find the authorities coming.
And the real authority comes down from his prayers, and he allows himself to be handed over.
Imagine the trial.
No crowds gathered yelling “Crucify!”
They’re all inside
Where they’ve been told they need to be,
Maybe watching on TV.
Maybe Pilot’s got his council on a Zoom meeting.
And they’re still beating
To be sure!
Because the whips are long enough to stay six feet back.
All the soldiers wear masks.
All the guards wear gloves.
They cast lots for his garments, sealed in a biohazard bag.
After he carries his cross through the empty streets,
The city crew
With sanitizing spray.
Up on the hill they nail him to the cross.
Above his head they toss up,
“King of the Jews!”
Because Pilot refuses
To change it.
The sky goes dark.
Jesus breathes his last.
From the ground comes a blast,
And everyone thinks, “This is the last thing we need on top of everything else we’ve got going on!”
A few hours later, a friend takes him down.
Imagine the sorrow.
It wasn’t enough that family and friends could die from disease,
Now their Lord’s carried off and dies for beliefs
That they believe too.
So what should they do?
Cover their face
From the public to avoid spreading germs?
Or because maybe that way people won’t recognize them,
And that they were once with Him.
But at least he got a tomb!
Because there are bodies being stored in makeshift refrigeration units.
Now imagine that morning.
And though it still hurts that Jesus is dead,
And thought it’s still true that pandemic plagues the world,
You might almost convince yourself that life is normal for one minute.
But then the tombstone’s rolled back,
And there’s no one in it!
And suddenly, it’s not the pandemic that’s changed the world forever.
It’s something bigger.
And it’s something better!
They run to the tomb,
And the their surprise
The death count that they’ve been watching the rise of
Is one less.
And that one death,
Has set eternal life in motion.
And the notion that quarantine
Would somehow mean
That death was allow to triumph
Has no place
And no face value
To a God that literally rose from the grave so as not to have to stay six feet back anymore.
So eyes up,
Because He rises up.
We’ve got the greatest example of victory in history.
And HIS STORY
Is all we need
To know we’ll be OK.
Easter reminds us there is a way to overcome,
Because He overcame.
And if he took your sin, he can handle your germs!