It’s “Hallelujah, anyhow” this Easter Sunday | PennLive Editorial
Easter Sunday is the one day a Christian wants to be in church. Even if the pews sit near empty the rest of the year, there’s a good chance they’ll be filled on Easter Sunday.
That’s not the case this year. Many churches won’t even open their doors this Easter. Some are opening despite warnings of a pandemic resurgence, but even if they do, what many call “Resurrection Sunday” will be far from normal this year.
Masks will join Easter bonnets and white shoes in the holiday costume. Pews will not be packed – or they shouldn’t be. And choirs will not belt out “He Arose” with the same vim and vigor as tradition requires.
Yet, it is still Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar. And it’s a fitting time to remember the one message pastors and leaders of all faiths have emphasized during these past months of pandemic and isolation:
God isn’t confined to the four walls of a church. Worship and the celebration of Easter don’t have to be, either.
Whether in a cathedral or around a kitchen table, millions of the faithful still will celebrate the day when they believe Jesus Christ arose from the grave after being crucified on a cross and spending three days in a garden tomb.
Millions still will sing their favorite hymns, reread the story of the empty tomb in John 20 and sign onto an online church anywhere in the world. You could even virtually worship with the Pope at the Vatican this Easter Sunday.
There’s another point many faith leaders have emphasized that’s worth remembering this Easter Sunday. It isn’t so much what you do inside a church; It’s what you do outside of its four walls that matters.
Many Christians sadly concede their churches have not done enough to create a better world or to better their local communities. Too many lament they have not welcomed the refugee, clothed the naked or fed the hungry. And too many confess they have not spoken out against the evils of our time – racism, xenophobia and crimes against the LGBT community.
Many Christians will be the first to say they have not done enough to stand with the oppressed, the vulnerable and the helpless, as Christ did.
But the beauty of Easter is that it brings the promise of renewal, the chance to be reborn; to shake off the dust and resurrect hope.
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry put it this way in his Easter 2021 message: “Our work goes on. Our labor for love continues. We will not cease, and we will not give up until this world reflects less our nightmare and more God’s dream, where there’s plenty good room for all God’s children.”
The Bishop concluded, “Hallelujah, anyhow.”
Hallelujah, anyhow. And Happy Easter, anywhere and anyway you celebrate it this year.
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