Faith Focus: Finding hope through the darkness this Easter

Rev Peter Crumpler

Rev Peter Crumpler - Credit: Archant

Our new faith column looks at current affairs from a religious perspective.

“We’ll meet again,” said the Queen during her historic TV broadcast on Sunday evening.

But it could be many weeks or months before the congregation at St Albans Cathedral and in churches and other local places of worship are able to gather again. The coronavirus pandemic has closed them all.

The Cathedral and churches responded fast. Many services are now being live-streamed or posted on YouTube. Facebook and other social media sites are keeping the faithful connected and spreading the word about what the churches are doing.

Volunteers from places of worship and other groups are phoning people to keep them in touch and offering help with shopping and other tasks.

All this is taking place as the churches prepare to mark both the saddest day in the Christian calendar, Good Friday – and the biggest celebration of the church year, Easter Day.

Christians mark the death on a cross of Jesus Christ – God living as a man with us – on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate his rising from death to bring new life to everyone who puts their faith in him.

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Many people, including a rising number living in and around St Albans and Harpenden, are experiencing the darkness of Good Friday already. They have lost a loved one from the COVID-19 virus, and tragically their friend or relative may have had to die alone. The funeral is likely to be a small scaled-down service.

Others are ill with the virus or grimly facing the fear of catching it or finding isolation from family and friends a heavy weight to bear.

Just as the Queen forecast better days will return, Christians look to the promise of Easter Day and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb.

We are people of hope, Easter people, living in the reality of the new life, the new beginning brought about by Christ’s resurrection.

The days and months ahead are uncharted, unsure and unknown.

But we have confidence that through the darkness of Good Friday, the new dawn of Easter Day will bring light and hope to a grieving, hurting world.