“But we had hoped.”
It’s weird how appropriate those words the disciples said on that road to Emmaus are for us today. “But we had hoped.” We had hoped we could be back to church by Easter. We had hoped businesses could start opening back up again. We had hoped the summer heat would solve the problem. We had hoped schools would resume in-person teaching before summer. We had hoped life could get back to how it was.
In a season as joyful as Easter, it can be tempting to paper over any lingering sadness or disappointment. Jesus is risen, after all! Hallelujah! He’s burst the bonds of death and opened the floodgates of mercy and love onto an aching and tired world! God has reconciled us to one another and to God! What better news could we have than that? But even so, I felt drawn to these four words of the disciples this week—“but we had hoped.”
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
I have been waiting so long to say that! I’ve always loved Easter. I know that’s a very pastor-y thing to say, but it’s true. Easter has always been one of those perfect kind of days, where all the gloom and sadness of Lent gets thrown off all at once, and we have the big pipe organ hymns with the brass, there are Easter lilies and white paraments, everyone gathers with their families for traditions like Easter egg hunts or a ham dinner. And it feels a lot different this year.
We can’t meet in person, and so much of what makes Easter such a holy day feels like it doesn’t get to happen. We’re social distancing so all those wonderful traditions we have as a family are going to be put on hold. Even the way we get dressed up in our Easter best is being disrupted—I’m pretty sure most of y’all are watching this in your pajamas. And I think it can be tempting to think Easter is somehow less than because we don’t get all those things.