Today is Easter. When I was a kid, Easter meant a fun search for candy eggs to start the day, extra special music at church, and usually a big lunch with extended family. Even if I didn’t get much out of the theology of the resurrection as a youngster, it was still a day of celebration.
But Easter 2020 finds the world in rough shape. There are no church services on account of coronavirus, except for some irresponsible and foolish congregations that think they are somehow immune to the disease. Family gatherings must be kept to a minimum. Restaurants are closed. Not to mention the many other crises currently affecting the planet. And to boot, it’s a dark, cold, rainy, ugly day weather-wise.
Oddly enough, I’ve been taking comfort in an unusual book: Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich. It’s an account of the visions that came to a Middle Age anchoress in 1373. When she wrote about her experiences, she wrote in Middle English, but I’m reading in a Modern English translation (Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-964118-5). I’ve never wholly bought into the phenomenon of holy visions, and I can’t say whether the things Julian saw were the product of a fever, an overactive imagination, or actual visits from a holy being. But her writing is lovely and affecting. Maybe reading her words is the best way I can celebrate Easter this year.