Welcome back. I hope you had a restful, albeit probably quite a different break than normally. It is indeed strange times and for those of us who are Christians, this Easter was particularly odd, as we were forced to celebrate our holiest of days from the confines of our homes and in closed off churches. However, the good news of this virus emerging during this time in the human evolution is that with the use of the internet we can connect through walls and break into confined spaces and thus reach each other, despite our physical isolation. This will of course be true for all of us this Term as we prepare to teach and learn from our homes.
This Easter the church’s message of Jesus Christ, who entered into the deepest darkness of the cross where he felt abandoned by God, has rung frightfully true to believers across the globe. The dawning of the resurrection, the breaking open of the cave, has for many not yet materialised and it seems that in many places across the world we still find ourselves at the foot of the cross. However, new shoots of hope are breaking forth and there is much to celebrate, even though this time is difficult.
Personally, I have been delighted to learn that my own country of Denmark this week is beginning a gradual opening up of schools and lifting of some of the restrictions. Most importantly is that we are seeing a new solidarity emerging across the world and in our own country of Australia. It seems that the invisible virus which has been transmitted from person to person across our globe has reminded us that we are not alone; we are deeply interconnected and it is only together that we can help heal each other. In the face of this crisis, as with all major crisis, we are seeing a growing solidarity among people. People are isolating themselves for the sake of each other and the vast majority of people are doing it freely out of a sense of solidarity rather than from fear of reprisals.
As the world is slowing down, people are rediscovering a simpler way of life and many are re-learning the profound importance of human relationships. Furthermore, as our ceaseless human activity has slowed down, our earth is breathing a sigh of relief; where mountains before were covered by pollution, they have now become visible and where birds were hardly heard they are now gracing urban environments. It is also clear that a new sense of solidarity is emerging. Across the world people are reaching out and helping each other and our government recently passed important legislation ensuring that many of the people who have suffered the hardest economically will receive some much-needed assistance.
While these times are tough for so many people, this crisis, this darkness, will hopefully be a creative darkness wherefrom we can learn a new way of being and a new way of ordering our society. Hopefully we will one day look back upon this time as the time that helped us getting in touch with what is truly important.
The Christian message of Easter is clear for every age – while we cannot perhaps feel it nor see it right now, light will emerge from darkness; the morning star will always rise in the darkest night and as the great saint, Lady Julian of Norwich, once said, “All will be well and all manner of things will be well”.
I hope you have a blessed beginning to the Term. Stay safe and healthy and be assured that you are all in my prayers.
Rev’d Hans Christiansen