COVID-19 has affected everything—including how we celebrate the Lord’s death and resurrection.
For the second year in a row … No joint services. No potlucks. No large family gatherings to celebrate the most important weekend on the Christian calendar.
And even if restrictions are lifted to a degree, there are still those who will not be able to attend services and small family get-togethers. The elderly. Those dealing with health issues of various kinds. Others in the high-risk category.
The past year has taken a toll on all of us, on some far more than others.
But even a worldwide pandemic can’t change …
The fact that God the Father sent His Son to die on Calvary FOR US! (John 3:16)
Death could not contain our Saviour!
We can cast our cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:7)
His yoke truly is easy and His burden light—even when it doesn’t feel like it. (Matthew 11:30)
He works out all things—worldwide pandemics included—for the good of His children. (Romans 8:28)
Some two millennia later, we can worship together—possibly, from the comfort of our living room couch. Watching the livestream of a church service isn’t the same as meeting in person, but it can keep us connected.
We can celebrate together with friends and family—even if it is over Zoom.
How can we bless others—even during these crazy days?
It seems strange to suggest putting yourself first, but it’s important. Before we can pour out into others, we must fill our spiritual well. It’s vital that we spend time in God’s Word and prayer, that we fellowship with other believers—if not in person, by phone or over the Internet.
Send a voicemail or video rather than simply firing off a text. You may even want to download the Marco Polo app or Voxer.
Start a Facebook group for family and friends where you can “hang out” together.
Get hold of your church directory and message those you haven’t seen in some time. If they’re not online—or even if they are, you can pop a note or Easter card in the mail. You never know what a difference it can make.
Prep a meal for a shut-in.
Offer to shop for someone who’s sick.
Go for a walk in the park with a friend.
Meet a friend for coffee if your local coffeeshop is open.
Offer to be a listening ear to those who are hurting. People don’t always need someone to steer them in the right direction. Sometimes, they just need a sounding board.
How can we take care of ourselves during this time?
As I mentioned, we must take care of our spiritual wellbeing.
The practice of spiritual disciplines doesn’t guarantee emotional health. This past year has been difficult for those who previously were unfamiliar with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. And for many who dealt with these conditions pre-COVID, it has been almost unbearable.
I’m not a therapist nor a psychiatrist, but if you know someone who is struggling, I encourage you to be that sounding board. And if you’re dealing with mental health issues, please reach out.
And Church, please DO NOT make those who struggle feel lesser in any way.
Our spiritual and emotional health are also wrapped up with our physical wellbeing. Need to make some changes? Don’t try to do everything at once. Take small steps in the right direction. Make lifestyle changes one by one. Add more physical activity to your schedule. Add resistance training to your schedule; even bodyweight exercises and the use of light weights can have long term benefits. Make healthier food choices. Drink more water. Get adequate sleep.
As we care for ourselves—and others—we’ll be better able to celebrate our Lord’s death and resurrection more wholeheartedly—whether we do so in person with other believers or within the walls of our own home.