Where is Jesus in the Covid-19 outbreak?

Published 17 April 2020  |  

It was Bank Holiday Monday and the first episode of Killing Eve was on the iPlayer. I had a feeling we would gather as a family to watch it later and that it would become a new lockdown family tradition.

For those who've not seen it, Killing Eve follows an international hit woman, the police woman seeking to catch her, and the weird relationship that subsequently developed.

Just like police drama Line of Duty, the excitement is in the plot twists and the hope that the big picture behind it all will eventually be revealed.

All good escapist fun, of course, but right now it feels like we are part of the plot in a show we don't necessarily want to be in.

The whole world and certainly our whole country are actors on this global coronavirus stage. Even when it involves staying at home, we have a part to play in preventing the virus spreading. Likewise, when we venture out for a walk or to the shop.

This is by far the biggest national crisis I have lived through, dwarfing the financial crash I was fortunate enough to (just) stay employed through, and the distant wars our armed forces were sent to fight in foreign lands.

It has been a constant battle to adapt to working from home, managing my council team and taking on new responsibilities via my phone and new sofa office. Last week my vicar, Mick, spoke about this in his podcast, the sense of abnormality and the constant need to re-evaluate when we are living without our usual rhythms.

I have tried to support my team, to encourage them that their best is enough, and to tell them not to internalise the times when they're not sure what to do. I'm sure like everyone I've had my moments of feeling angry, powerless and a bit lost within it all.

It's certainly been a strange Easter, and it's been very hard not to share it with my church family - as much as our church put together great online resources. Although, incidentally, my wife had the brilliant idea of creating a simple service sheet for a ten minute act of doorstep worship, which we shared in together with neighbours on our street from our respective front doors.

The pause from work has also been a massive release, and there has been more time than ever to reflect on the Easter message.

Indeed, Easter is the greatest plot twist this world has ever known. Jesus was dead. The insurrection had been put down; another rebel put in his place. Jesus' followers were bereft and terrified.

And then he rose. The tomb was empty. The body was gone.

And then he appeared - many times, to many people. And the effect was utterly transformational.

The shattered disciples became the revolutionary church, spreading with love and power, through persecution to the ends of the earth.

The cross of Christ is the hinge of history. The resurrection is the demonstration of victory and hope. Jesus is alive. We can know him and his overcoming life.

So what does that mean for me when I go back to life and to work after Easter?

It means that when I struggle in the abnormality, I am not alone. It means that when I can't fix the chaos, God promises I will find His grace in my weakness to keep going and do what I can.

It means that when I want to find someone to blame, He helps me to forgive, He cleans my heart up and gives me hope to see beyond.

Our routines and our self-reliance are stripped bare during this season. The myths of control and progress are rendered redundant. In this, we find that people matter more than anything. We learn to be grateful for what we have.

Just as the Queen eloquently stated that Easter is not cancelled, God is not distant or impotent. The risen Christ is there for each of us and, whether we see it or not, He is at work in this time.

Dave Luck is the author of 'What Happens Now? A journey through unimaginable loss' and blogs weekly on www.daveluckwrites.co.uk. Follow him on Twitter @dluckwrite or on Facebook at the 'Daveluckwrites' page.


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