This week is the most important one in the Christian calendar. During this week, which is known as Holy Week, we remember the last few days of the life of Jesus on this earth as they lead up to his crucifixion and resurrection. Without the events of Easter weekend there is no Christian faith. If Jesus had not died for the sins of the world, we could not receive new life and forgiveness from Him. And if God had not raised Jesus from the dead, death would not have been defeated. This would have meant no hope for any of us.
Not surprising during Easter weekend there are normally a number of different services and events held to remember this important time. Many churches usually hold services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. There are open air passion plays held too in our high streets.
This year is different though. In 2020 there will be no services held at our churches. No passion plays in our streets. These events have all been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Our Easter will be unlike anything we have ever experienced beforehand. If someone had said to me a few weeks ago that this would happen I would not have believed them. I don’t think any of us would have! But it has. No Easter services!
However, all is not lost. We can still experience the wonder of Easter this year. It’s just going to be different to what we would normally expect. So what will Easter 2020 be like?
Thankfully due to the wonders of modern technology we will be able “to attend” services streamed from our churches. In fact we can see services from various different churches if we so wish. Whilst it is not the same as attending church in the normal manner, we can still encounter God through these services. There are many countries in the world where our brothers and sisters in Christ cannot worship openly due to persecution. We should therefore be grateful that we can still worship God openly.
Additionally there will be various Easter services and programmes on the BBC , both radio and TV, this weekend too. Premier Christian radio station will be broadcasting services too. These provide other opportunities to follow Jesus through the events of Holy Week.
Wintershall will be showing two livestreams of The Passion of Jesus and One Good Friday Story through their Facebook page at 12 noon and 3pm. I have been fortunate to have seen their productions many times and would certainly recommend watching it.
And of course very importantly, as with all other years, we must make time to be alone with God to ponder the events of Holy Week. It’s vital to ensure that we do not neglect private times of bible reading and prayer.
Yes Easter 2020 will be different. But it can still be a special time.