Amid our fears, Easter gives hope

April 2020 · Ministry News

Winter is not my favorite season. Through January and February, the darkness and the cold begin to feel oppressive and heavy on my soul. As a result, I am always on the lookout for signs that spring is around the corner. These signs include the hardy flowers like crocuses and daffodils poking up – even through snow cover some years and of course the return of birdsong serenading me early in the morning. Having grown up in central Kansas one of the other signs that spring has sprung for me are the lush emerald green fields of winter wheat leaving its dormant state and coming to life once again. After months of seeing grey and beige, the bright green of these fields always puts a smile on my face. They also remind me of one of my favorite Easter hymns:

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain, wheat that in dark earth many days has lain; love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

We are experiencing this year an Easter like none other we’ve ever known. Instead of gathering in churches to proclaim, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”, we will be instead be worshipping in our homes. There will be no large gatherings of families around the Easter table. New Easter outfits will have to wait for another year. We grieve these losses and the losses we have experienced to what was our normal life.

We grieve even more the loss of life that continues here and around the world. Despite what seems like the continuation of winter in our battle with COVID-19, the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection is the same. And like that green wheat waving in the wind, Christ has conquered the cold dark tomb – conquered death once and for all.

Truly, “Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.” In the midst of our anxiety, our fear, and even our grief, may this holy feast of Easter fill us with hope and may the Good News of Christ’s resurrection help us to be beacons of his light and love in this world that so desperately needs it.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain, thy touch can call us back to life again, fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Hymn #204, The Hymnal 1982 John Macleod Campbell Crum (1872-1958)

Fr. Chas Marks is a Senior Advisor for Community & Church Relations with The Saint Francis Foundation. He is also the Rector (Pastor) of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri.