We’ve all been encouraged (or rather, told!) to stay home this weekend. Many people like to travel at this time, visiting family, going to holiday destinations, and having a refreshing change of pace. But in most places of the world, that’s out of the question at the moment.
As in many other countries, in Australia we’re bringing change to our homes instead of seeking it away from our normal residence. It’s almost unbelievable that we have so suddenly accepted such new and foreign ways of living.
Today our son did our big shop for us. Yesterday our neighbour bought some milk, and dropped it off at our front door. The day before, a young mother cut a dozen sweet corn cobs off their stalks in Maurie’s Church Community Garden bed, and delivered them to our driveway. He took them inside, cut off the kernels, and froze them for next year’s meals.
Our street is quieter than usual; the children’s voices aren’t filling the pathways as they normally would when they’re home from school. There’s less traffic.
For some, home has become a sort of prison; a bastion of boredom. For others it’s been accepted as a challenge to invent new ways to keep the family occupied, instructed, and entertained. Such a tiny organism has caused this change in our lives. The influence of this virus has spread over the globe and instigated so many reactions and unexpected rules. Numbers are displayed each day: infections, admissions, and sadly, deaths. And the mantra goes on – stay at home, stay at home, stay at home.
It’s especially important for the elderly to keep to themselves as much as possible. And others who are at potential risk of infection must be careful to keep their distance. I feel for the lonely and the sick.
It makes me think of this period in the church calendar when we’re remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He didn’t stay home. When he left his glorious residence, he knew he’d never return to it until he’d experienced a cruel death at the hands of the ones he loved.
Last weekend, Palm Sunday gave us a glimpse of the countdown to the most horrible drama of Jesus’ life. That day, he wept over Jerusalem; he warned the people of their future defeat. He reminded them of their betrayal of him, but he accepted their praise on his way up the hill to the Holy City. He knew full well that they’d turn on him later and demand his crucifixion. And he knew that the reason for it all was so he could provide a home for them; a place of safety in heaven where there would be no more boredom, fear of disease, suffocating confinement, or death.
Yes, Jesus didn’t stay home for Easter.
What are we doing this weekend? Are we longing to get away, or are we happy to stay home and ponder what Jesus did for us? His church cannot gather together to celebrate that special meal, the Communion. But we can still remember his sacrifice for us. In our homes, we can partake of the bread and the wine, the symbols of his body and his blood. And do it together, seeing each other, hearing one another – at the same time … online! Man may have invented the internet, but God provided the ability to use it! In our homes, let’s praise him together!
Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies; praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness … Hallelujah! ~ Psalm 150