The only possible answer to the question above… is Yes.
Yes, it’s Easter.
And yes, it’s still Good Friday.
Here in Nova Scotia, people are senselessly dead for no good reason, sacrificed to the twin gods of ego and self destruction. Family, friends, neighbours and co-workers around the province are in shock. Communities, already isolated by Covid-19, are devastated, and cannot even get together to hold on to each other.
This is the time of year when the church wants to talk about new life, yet we are surrounded by hatred and fear and anger and death.
This is the time of year we celebrate God with us, but the prayers around us (and, to be honest, within us) sound much more like Jesus’ prayer from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This is the time of year when we look for signs of renewal (bud, blossoms, bees), but the news is all about endings and conclusions and brutal finality.
So, what do we do?
I think we start with honesty.
This whole experience is just wrong. And nothing we can say is going to make it right. Or better. Not even a little bit.
And in spite of all of the well meaning platitudes, “We’ll get through this,” or “Better days are coming,” or “We rise again,” right now we are in the middle of Good Friday.
We might as well own that.
Ironically, it is Easter that enables us to “own” this new experience of Good Friday.
It doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t make the pain or shock or anger go away.
But it reminds us that we don’t go through it alone.
We can be honest about what we are going through. We can admit our shock and hurt, our numbness and rage, precisely because of the Easter promise that God walks with us, even in the worst experiences of our lives.
We do not demand that others see it this way. The folks who have lost family, friends, neighbours and co-workers last weekend are most likely too raw to see much of anything right now.
And that’s ok.
But we can do whatever we can to surround them with love and care and support. We can do whatever we can to walk with whoever is hurting, so that they know that they are not alone.
Our job right now, as the church of Easter, is to be present with those who are still in the middle of Good Friday, to cry with them, to sit in silence with them, to mourn with them, to pray with them, to hurt with them.
It is precisely here, in the raw parts of life, that we are called to trust the promise of Easter.
Because it is Easter. Even in the middle of Good Friday.