When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’John 20:19
I shared a story in the Easter sermon yesterday about how on April 13, 1970, the Apollo 13 astronauts had a near death disaster after one of the oxygen tanks on board their space craft exploded, damaging the air filter system and releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. NASA engineers had to work quickly to solve the problem by helping the astronauts make a replacement filter, using only items available to them on the space craft, like plastic tubing and wires from their spacesuits, tube socks and duct tape.
One of the NASA engineers directing the team on the ground to replicate the filter with the primitive supplies is known to have said to the team, “This can be our finest hour, but we need all of you.” That is similar to what Winston Churchill said in a speech to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on June 18, 1940 when Great Britain was about to come under attack during the height of WWII. Churchill said, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, people will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”
The days are getting long during our current Coronavirus Pandemic as we must continue in our practice of home isolation and social distancing. But because of Easter, God has shown us in the power of the Resurrection that this can be our finest hour. And that together, with our trust in God, God will use us to bring about something good in the midst of and following this time of crisis.
Easter comes alive every time we send a card, e-mail or text of kindness; or every time we make a phone call or post a message of encouragement in these days. Easter is alive right now as we share the peace of Christ in the ways we continue to engage with God through worship and human connection and as we continue to be the Church as the body of Christ.
In these Easter days, may we continue to stay strong and trust in God’s power to make something out of nothing as we piece the fragments of life together in new ways. My hope and prayer is that this season of struggle and crisis will be one of our finest hours.