“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.”
This has been a pretty insane week. We started, last Sunday, with Daylight Savings Time, which threw us all off of our sleep patterns. Then, as we needed the week to recover from losing an hour, it turns out there was a full moon, which does no favors for anyone who works in the medical field or with children. And as if that wasn’t enough to ratchet up the crazy, this past Friday was the thirteenth. It’s a week that seems to have been designed for the full brunt of the coronavirus arriving in our area and all that that means.
With it, so many of us are experiencing significant changes to how we organize our lives. Jobs that can be done remotely are mostly opting to have people work from home. The normal routine of meeting up with colleagues during the day is disrupted. Schools are canceled for the next several weeks, forcing parents to figure out childcare. Colleges are going to remote learning for the rest of the semester. And then we make the difficult decision not to meet in person for worship today. If you didn’t have anxiety already, this week certainly hasn’t helped.