Summary: The rework of the Easter 2020 message, which was not delivered. Jesus was God in the darkness as He hung on the cross, and He is God in the darkness of these evil days.

“From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, ‘This man is calling Elijah.’ And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” [1]

Easter was different last year. Churches were darkened. Families didn’t gather to celebrate with a joyous feast as they had throughout the days of their lives. Businesses were closed; business owners questioned if they could hold on for two weeks, or possibly for a month, without income. When they ventured out of their homes, people hid their faces with a mask of shame as demanded by politicians without understanding of science. Physicians who had transformed into politicians assumed new prominence in the governments of our nations; their words taking on a significance medical school could never have imagined for them.

Throughout the year following, though they had given themselves to build the nation, having fought wars on foreign soil for their country and having invested their lives in raising children to live honourable and productive lives, the elderly would be isolated. Though they had raised their families and drawn strength from the presence of their children, their grandchildren, and their closest friends, many would die alone, isolated and without a loving face to comfort them. Then, they would be buried without friends or family permitted to gather to remember them. Easter was different last year.

What was novel then has rapidly become normal. Politicians, and cynical citizens, speak of this as “the new normal.” Of course, there is nothing normal about isolation and fear. Fear! That has been the greatest change. Seeing friends and colleagues live in terror of an invisible invader sent to us courtesy of a cynical Communist government has been one of the hardest changes to accept. Witnessing the transformation of a vibrant nation living in anticipation of tomorrow into a nation characterised by fear has been difficult, even for the most jaded among us. Darkness seems now to cover the land—darkness that seems to stifle hope and compel despair and discord, even among the people of God. Just when it seemed that the dark night was past, we were informed by government functionaries that it would be extended for “just a bit longer.” We have heard this promise before.

Since those early days of this pandemic, it has felt as though the news media has colluded with various health ministers to stampede the populace to live in abject terror. “Two weeks to flatten the curve,” is moving toward “two years of living in fear.” Our Provincial Health Officer has extended the state of emergency repeatedly. Coming up to Easter, she magnanimously announced that she would allow four days in which religious people could observe their various sacred holidays. Then, only a couple of days after that announcement, her courage evaporated and she announced that the state of emergency would again be extended. The new normal means loss of freedom and fear.

One dare not appear in public without the mask of shame lest some frightened soul scream her fear, pointing out the lack of respect and desire for people to die because you didn’t wear the cloth signifying your submission to governmental overlords. To ensure compliance with the mandate of our political betters, we are fined by the police if we don’t wear the new symbol of submission. Because the fine wasn’t working as well as the politicians had hoped to compel people to do what they were told, the fine was doubled barely a week ago. Now, we are being told that we each may soon hear words that have never been heard on the North American continent: “Your papers please.” Shakespeare was prescient when he wrote, “‘Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.” [2]

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