A different sort of Easter
Prayer of encouragement
VOLMOED IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 20TH
Dear Prayer partners
Work on all the various projects on Volmoed have been going full steam ahead.
· Wilma’s office is ready for her to move in and the new Office Tea Room is starting to look homely as we have started to hang pictures on the walls and arrange furniture in it.
· In the meantime Deon and his team are hard at work on the new Staff Tea room (see accompanying pictures) which is going to be bright and airy with lots of windows and a view over the field and pond.
The men did a sterling job of taking down a tree next to the shed. Andries manned the tractor while Deon and Lucas used the chain saw. A great team effort—while the office staff looked on! They continued their tree felling at Wellspring (John & Isobel’s House) and at the gate where they trimmed off branches.
A different sort of Easter
Soon enough we’ll hear somebody say, “Christ is Risen!” and we will respond, “The Lord is Risen Indeed!” This happens each Easter and has for centuries. But this Easter will be unlike any in modern memory. This Easter an unwanted guest, COVID-19, has joined us. With this virus comes a whole raft of fears and health measures, none of which seem likely to enhance our experience of the Risen Lord.
At the same time, COVID-19 certainly has no power over Jesus, over resurrection. Things on the surface may be very different, but somewhere deep, Easter will be Easter.
Every crisis is an opportunity, so you never want to waste a crisis. COVID-19 is a crisis. So is Easter. During Holy Week we remember a series of terrible events in which Jesus is betrayed by those closest to him, abandoned, even denied by those who love him best. Eventually he is not just killed but killed in the most horrible way that human minds could devise. Our annual keeping of Holy Week and Easter is, in part, a way for us not to waste a crisis. Perhaps in the spirit of Easter we can find a way not to waste the crisis of COVID-19.
It is understandable that many of us wish that everything would just go back to normal... the way it used to be... For those of us who live with a fair amount of comfort and privilege, this is a reasonable desire. Our lives were better, and we’d like that back. But for those who were living in miserable conditions, in starvation, in desperate poverty, in despair, there can’t be the same desire for things to go back to normal.
The truth is that “normal” seems to include a great deal of injustice. “Normal” can include a staggering degree of greed and hoarding, while tolerating a shameful degree of suffering. “Normal” appears to assume that it is OK to use vast amounts of resources for the comfort and pleasure of some while leaving others with nothing and severely degrading the planet for those who come after us. Jesus calls us to live in love with our brothers and sisters, but honestly, that is not “normal”.
The message of Easter does not call us to return to normal, to the way things were before the crucifixion. Easter calls us to be transformed, to be made new. Jesus is transformed by death and resurrection so that the disciples have a hard time recognizing him. We are not, most of us, called to endure what Jesus endured. But we are called to be transformed by this Easter event.
I find myself thinking that COVID-19, which has brought our modern world to its knees, is offering an opportunity for transformation as well. This will not be easy or fun, just as the events of Holy Week are not easy or fun. But this present moment in time is challenging us to consider what is truly important. That is very different from what we find appealing or desirable. This present moment reminds us that our mighty engines of commerce have very little power over something as tiny as a virus. In this moment can we learn something about humility and compassion?
This virus will have its time and then it will pass. What it will leave in its wake we do not yet know. But it is a crisis, and with God’s help, this crisis can transform us and our society to be more just and loving. This will be a truly blessed Easter.
- We have a new website, with a blog spot. A Lenten Message from Brother Scott is on it as well as the March Prayer letter.
- TESTIMONY RECEIVED FROM A GROUP OF DAY VISITORS
Volmoed venue surpassed our expectation.
We appreciated the meeting room which was most appropriate and the kitchen and dining room was fully equipped and clean as a pin.
We had a lovely day and came away refreshed and refilled with the Spirit.
- Please keep Peterus, Evette & little Zoe in your prayers as Zoe remains in hospital. With the lockdown Peterus will not be able to visit them at Tygerberg Hospital.
- Also keep Jane and her family in your prayers with the passing of her uncle Wynter Prevost.
I was regretting the past and fearing the future
Suddenly my Lord was speaking: “My name is I AM”
He paused. I waited. He continued
When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets it is hard
I am not there. My name is not I was.
When you are in the future, with its problems and fears it is hard
I am not there. My name is not I will be.
When you are in the moment it is not hard, I am here
My name is I AM.