How the Virus Stole Easter- (and thank you, Dr. Seuss)
Everyone in the church, We liked Easter a lot...
But the virus, which lurked in the shadows Did Not!
The virus closed churches, the whole Lenten Season, Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
And nothing about it felt normal or right. The coughing nonstop and the breathing so tight.
The fear of the virus was now known to all, And it forced to stay home, the tall and small.
With the church doors locked tightly and tied with a rope, * We stood there Good Friday, losing our hope,
Staring out from our caves with our sour, Grinchy frowns, We sensed the depression and loss in our towns. “It’s over,” was echoed on each pair of lips, “No planning church service and after church trips.
No rehearsing cantatas and sermons and prayers, No ironing our clothes and/or curling our hair.”
And we growled, our fingers all nervously drumming, “This virus will surely stop Easter from coming!”
For on Easter we know, none of us would do rather, Than wake bright and early- to church we would gather!
And then! Oh, the noise! Joyful Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's the best part of Easter! The Great Joyful NOISE!
The children would rush for the eggs that were hidden. It’s Easter you see, so no candy’s forbidden
And they’d feast! And they’d Feast! And they’d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! Then we all, young and old, would raise hands and bow heads, While prayers of thanksgiving and worship were said.
We’d celebrate Jesus, his death and his rise, And after the sermon our prayers we’d reprise.
And then we’d do something we like most of all, Every one in our churches, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Easter bells ringing, Hold hands in a circle, and all would start singing!
And we’d sing! And we'd sing! And we'd SING! SING! SING! SING!
And the more we all thought of this great Easter Sing, The more we thought, "How can we skip this whole thing?
Why, as long as remembered the church has been open! There doesn’t seem anything left to have hope in"
Then we got an idea! An AWFUL idea! And we thought on this Terrible, AWFUL IDEA!
"Easter’s Cancelled!” We felt the fear rise in our throats. And we made few calls, no need for our coats. And we gossiped and clucked, What a great virus trick! We watched CNN till we made ourselves sick. "What we need is a savior!” and looked quickly around. But since saviors are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop us? NO! We turned back to the news We found many ‘saviors,’ and multiple views, Then we all got bandanas of blues and of reds And made ourselves masks to tie on to our heads. Then we hoarded our food and we all shopped on line, If we had to be home, well, at least we’d be “fine!” And we shut off our faith and we turned on our screens, We’d scroll all of FaceBook for this quarantine.
All our windows were dark, and a funk filled the air. We were slipping and sinking in deep, deep despair.
Good Friday was dark, and our spirits were down We saw Jesus dying, the thorns for a crown.
"The passersby said, 'Why not get yourself down? You're King,? You’re God’s son? or are you a clown?”
.And we wondered too- “Lord, why not set yourself free? We need you to save us- God, where can you be?"
We got stuck on that thought, for a moment or two. And we pondered if God would really come through.
The darkness kept spreading, continued to grow. Cause hope, in a crisis, is the first thing to go!
And we slithered and slunk, with smiles most unpleasant, Though we longed for the mercy of God to be present!
“Netflix! And Amazon! Distractions for looking! Chocolates! And Puzzles! Baking! And Cooking!"
And we stuffed our hope down. The virus, was winning, Our belly’s and even our heads were all spinning!
The death toll was rising. We all felt so scared. The loss touched our families, We weren’t prepared!
So on knees bent so deep we went back to the Lord. “Give us hope through this darkness, give us faith through your word!”
The cross loomed so large, it was hard to remain. "My God!" Jesus cried, "why’d you leave me in pain?"
And the thunder clapped once, Jesus took his last breath, It seemed all hope was lost in the wake of his death.
And they took down his body in utter dismay. His friends and His family, they wept and they prayed.
And then all the next day, we did as we were told Social distancing practices getting so old.
Though we gathered on line to feel comfort, and cry. And all of us badly in need of reply,
We doubted the power of Christ to come through. And without resurrection, oh, what would we do?
So on Saturday night, we did what we could, to ease our own fears, though we knew where we stood.
Our faith, it felt shattered, we needed to sleep So we said a quick prayer, “God, our souls quickly keep”
"Wait till tomorrow," God whispered to we, "There's a light that is rising that you’ve yet to see."
And God’s words soothed our hearts, we held all that was said. And we breathed a deep breath and we all went to bed.
But while we each slept in our quarantined rooms, Jesus was waking and leaving the tomb!
On Sunday, the sun rose on time, inch by inching. But we woke to our usual doubting and grinching.
Easter Morning, we still feared, this year, would be skipping us, Till we realized the truth under all that was tripping us.
And our mouths, they hung open a minute or two And then we remembered just what we should do.
“Listen”, God said, “To my voice- you MUST hear!" So we paused. And we opened our hearts and our ears.
And we did hear a voice, and we sat up bed. “Jesus WAS risen, just as He said!”
We took in the son-rise- God opened our eyes! Jumped out of bed smiling, with shocking surprise!
Every one, every Christian, the tall and the small, Was praising and praying and singing and all!
No virus stopped Easter from coming! IT CAME! Through God’s grace and mercy, it came just the same!
"It came without choirs! Without church doors open!" "It came because NEW LIFE is what we have hope in!
And we laughed at our doubts, sang till voices were sore. Then we all thought of something we hadn't before!
That we don’t need to join hands or meet face to face. Cause the church is a people, connected by grace
And the virus, still looming in all of the land, Is no match for the power of God’s mighty hand
And what happened then? At the church now, we say, We worshiped, and sang, ‘Christ is Risen Today!.’
Connected by Spirit, to God, through Christ’s love We raise resurrection songs here and above!
And we brought back the joyful noise, feasting in praise And Christ, RISEN CHRIST! To our voices we raise!