We try to get some exercise while being trapped indoors, shouting to children to stop playing video games and to go easy on the toilet paper. We are constantly connected to the news cycle, an IV drip that feeds our need for information but leaves us exhausted and hollow. Anxiety is through the roof. The economy is collapsing, unpaid bills are piling up, and people are dying around the world in heart-breaking numbers.
This is life in the age of coronavirus.
Many stare at their calendars. What used to be dotted with multiple colours of activity that made us feel important and useful is now a blank space in time created by social distancing. A white hole. Reflecting back loneliness. Leaving many lost.
But there is an event on everyone’s calendar that has not and will never be erased by this pandemic: Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
To celebrate these defining dates of our faith, churches are now using online tools like live streaming or podcasts to stay in touch with their congregation during this trying time. Sunergo Connect and our Mass Mailing tool that allows the church to compose emails to be sent to groups of contacts have also been helpful for many.
Mike Brown, a pastor of a church on the outskirts of Milan in Northern Italy, has reported enormous spikes in the number of views of his online sermons from about 60 to 1000 views per week. Many viewers have expressed gratitude for his gospel preaching and have been asking questions about his church. Some have said they would go and visit his church when the ban on physical distancing is lifted. God is causing His Word to spread in the midst of this pandemic.
These new opportunities to reach different groups of people is heartening. Droves of people unable to physically go into church buildings this Easter will want to visit churches like yours online to receive comfort and encouragement. To hear a message of hope, the only good news that matters: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
In the midst of these difficult times, because of the hope we have in Christ, we can still wish you and your loved ones a Happy Easter.