This year, Easter weekend may look somewhat different to other years. This year, we may feel stuck inside our homes. This year, the media reports may be gloomier than ever. This year, we may not be going on our traditional family holiday. This year, we may not be able to gather with others to celebrate and worship. This year, we may find it harder to source our favourite chocolates and hot cross buns. This year, we may not have the financial means to celebrate in a way we normally would. This year, someone in our family may be sick or absent. This year, we may be grieving the changes and losses. This year, we may face a time of isolation and quiet self-reflection. This year, we may be filled with anxiety about future unknowns. But… this year, at least one thing will remain the same as it was before COVID-19 and as it will be after COVID-19. This year, like last year and the year before, we have this inescapable enemy which was introduced long before this horrible virus – an enemy stronger than a collapsing economy, quarantine or a pandemic. This enemy’s name is death. Once this terrible time in our history has long been forgotten, the death rate will still be 100 percent and we will still have to face our mortality. Which begs the question, “Are we ready to face this enemy?” Or where and how do we escape from this enemy? Take heart friends! This year, like last year and the year before, our faithful God remains the same. This year, as before, God will not forget His promises. This year, like more than 2000 years ago, sin and death have been defeated by God’s Son, Jesus our Saviour, on the cross. This year, the tomb is still empty. This year, Jesus’s resurrection remains true, and therefore our resurrection is certain. This year, His love, grace and mercy for us hasn’t changed. He is still good, gentle, patient, kind. This year, we are not alone. Immanuel, God is still with us. This year, like last year, we therefore have hope. This year, maybe even more than before, we look forward to Christ’s return. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20) This year, these words from 1 Corinthians 15 still ring true: ‘’But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.’’ “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.’’ MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME CELEBRATING OUR RISEN KING! Emmie Hofsink – aifc National Office Share this Facebook Twitter Pinterest Where to get help 24/7 Helplines Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helplines: 1800 551 800 Mensline: 1300 789 978 Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 Headspace: 1800 650 890 Talk to your doctor and see a mental health professional. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.