Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
On Easter Sunday, I was struck by the incredible and beautiful virtual choir of over 800 persons that the Episcopal Church USA put together singing, “The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done.” As I watched this and loved the beauty, I was also struck by the oddity of what was being sung, “The strife is o’er, the battle done; now is the victor’s triumph won! Now be the song of praise begun. Alleluia!”
All day Easter Sunday, I have felt like I was on the verge of tears. I couldn’t quite put into words until now why. What an unbelievably odd Easter. And yet I am sure that first was rather odd too. Aren’t they all? Isn’t the message of the cross still foolishness and the empty tomb all the more?
My eyes welled with tears, as I watched and worshipped with countless communities across this synod and the US. And how I yearn when we can be back together again. I was moved by the powerful ways that you all have taken this odd and difficult experience and made the message of Easter loudly and beautifully shine with the world.
My eyes welled with tears as I think of what this virus has done and continues to do. And yet, tears of joy and appreciation for all who love their neighbor by sheltering in place, for health care workers who put themselves at risk, delivery drivers, grocery workers, and all the many who are helping to manage this crisis.
The strife is o’er seeming like a strange song to sing when we feel like we are in the midst of great strife. But we know that Easter happened, is happening and will continue to happen and because of that we know that Christ beat the greatest strife and is risen and so shall we.