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The Resurrection in Isolation

This is going to be a very strange Easter for all of us! Unlike the occasional snowstorm that disrupts our Easter plans, this Easter will be the first major holiday that we experience ‘alone-together’ during this Covid-19 pandemic.

For some of us, this will be an Easter spent alone and feelings of isolation may be intense this year do to all that is happening around us.

For others, this will be the first holiday that we won’t be able to spend with extended family or even closer family members due to travel restrictions, quarantines, and group gathering guidelines.

Alone or in a smaller than usual group, this will be hard as many years of traditions are ‘put on hold’ and we will be forced to celebrate in new and different ways. Even what you traditionally eat may be different this year!

Whether you celebrate in a small gathering, or alone, I believe that This Easter has the Potential to Connect us to Jesus’s Resurrection Like Never Before and here is why:

Jesus’ Followers Experienced Isolation and the Loss of Normalcy When He Died

Think about this, the disciples had left everything to follow Jesus. They were “all in” with Him and they trusted Him enough to radically alter their lives, occupations, and devotion. They had followed Jesus for years, and when Jesus died their leader was gone, the object of their affection was gone, and their sense of normalcy was gone.
They were scattered and isolated from each other and their Savior.

Can you relate to this? Do you feel isolated? Have you lost any sense of normalcy in your life? I know I sure feel like this!

But here is what we know…

Resurrection Power Works in Isolation.

Jesus died alone and isolated from God and from His followers. He spent 3 days in the tomb cut off from life and cut off from His Father.

However, we know He was not alone in that tomb. God was performing the most amazing, earth-shattering, death-defying, history-altering, and life-changing event in history, seemingly in the midst of isolation.

Through Jesus, death was defeated. Isolation was defeated. Never again do people have to die isolated from God and alone.

This Easter, never allow who is or isn’t with you to define isolation or to determine what God can or cannot do. You are not alone! God works powerfully in times of isolation!

And finally, this Easter, please know that…

Out of Death, Life Bursts Forth

No matter how dark and gloomy our lives may feel right now and however it seems like death and darkness have the upper hand, because of Jesus’ resurrection, life, goodness, and hope always rise from difficult times.

We feel alive when someone calls or emails simply to check in on us.

We see goodness in acts of kindness that people show to one another.

We hear hopefulness when we watch people applauding healthcare workers leaving their shift.

Can you see it?

Because Jesus conquered death, He brought us life, goodness, and hope in the middle of our darkest days.

So be hopeful- signs of Jesus’ resurrection are all around you!

As you experience a different kind of Easter this year, remember that Jesus’ earliest followers experienced isolation and the loss of normalcy, God’s resurrection power works in isolation, and out of death, life bursts forth!

This Sunday, I pray that you connect with Jesus’ resurrection like never before!

We love and are praying for you!

Happy Easter 2020!

Posted by Paul Klouse with

Quarantine Rest

Establishing Rest in Quarantine

If you’re like us, you’ve probably worked really hard at establishing some sort of new rhythm over the last few weeks.

For us, it seems to be school, outside time, lots of reading (just finished All Creatures Great and Small), making sourdough bread (this is new), dinner, a Marvel movie from the Marvel Universe (I’m still confused), and then sleep. And while we haven’t quite dialed this routine in, it seems to be working at this point.

I know some of you have more work than ever on your hands. You may be fortunate enough to still be on a team that lost other members, so you are doing the work of three people now.

Or maybe this is the first time you have ever been assigned to work from home and you find yourself constantly checking email throughout the day and have a difficult time separating yourself from your work and workspace. This is really common and really difficult! Without the bus, train, or commute, you’re finding it hard to separate life from work and that’s exhausting!

Some of you may have more time than ever on your hands. Especially time at home! Maybe you’ve had a reduction of hours at work or have to fill the time that would be normally spent commuting to the city.

This may be new for you and you fill up your days with new and good routines, time with family, Netflix, and like me, doing at-home workouts that feel like an hour but in reality, it is like 6 minutes!

The point is most people don’t like change and establishing a new routine is hard!

But there is one thing, apart from washing your hands and sanitizing everything every 45 seconds, that I encourage you to build into your new routine.

And that is rest.

Rest, or Sabbath, is vital to us as people made in the image of God. It is vital because it allows us to step back from working so hard at our new routines and truly lean into trusting our caring, powerful, unsurprised by what is happening in the world today, near in this time of suffering, God.

And I know that Sabbath seems like a bigger deal when life is humming along in this quick North Jersey pace, but it is equally important in this new pace and place we find ourselves in today- maybe even more than ever!

Here are some suggestions for Establishing Rest in Quarantine:

  • Choose a day, evening, or few hours to disconnect from anything plugged in and simply do something that is refreshing to you, like a walk outside, journal, draw, or pray.
  • Meditate on a verse from scripture, like Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God". Then do this throughout your chosen time of rest. Be creative!
  • Lay aside your agenda, and simply view thoughts, conversations or situations that arise in your designated rest time as ‘from God,’ and enjoy them, process them, and trust that God is drawing near to you as you put Him above everything else in your life.

Remember: What you do isn’t as important as why you are doing it! You’re trusting in God and your actions are a result of that!

Hope this helps and remember- we are in this together!

We’d love to hear how you are Establishing Rest in Quarantine!

 

 

Posted by Paul Klouse with

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