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Easter in Exile: A Poem

Easter in Exile: A Poem 4/10/2020 By Ron Dunn, Pastor, Newcastle UMC How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? Easter in Exile How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? How can we sing our Easter “alleluias” all by ourselves? How can we make our way to the empty tomb alone? How can we possibly celebrate from a “social distance?” Easter just won’t be the same . There will be no early morning energy of a sunrise service, Or the glorious excitement of pews that are packed With throngs of people joyfully singing their favorite hymns.   There will be no trumpets or harps, No “E & C” visitors, No early season “fashion statements,” No problems finding a place to park. Easter just won’t be the same . The threat of a virus has changed almost everything. Projections suggest That the worst is yet to come, That the contagion has yet to peak. And so, we “shelter in place,” Wash our hands and wear our masks, Losing track of time   As each day seems to follow the same script. No, Easter just won’t be the same . How can it be when the litany of death  Is upon the lips of so many? When talking heads and political pundits Do battle over death toll totals and projections? It’s true that Easter in exile just won’t be the same . That it is, indeed, difficult to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land When the storm clouds have gathered And it appears that the forces of fear and death Are in control. And yet, it is also true that there is good news from a graveyard… The stone has been rolled away, The tomb stands empty. “He has been raised from the dead and is going on ahead of you.” It is also true That the Easter story Is not just about the resurrection of Jesus, But about yours and mine, About how we choose to live in the shadow of death, About where we find our hope, And in whom we place our trust. Yes, it’s true that Easter just won’t be the same . Yet the meaning of its message will remain What it has always been:  There is nothing in all of creation, Not even death itself that can separate us From the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! So, let us proclaim our isolated “Alleluias !” Let us sing the Lord’s song, Even from a social distance, And let it echo across this strange land. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen!

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