This spring holiday season, as we observe Passover and Easter, we are reminded of hope and rebirth. We are reminded of the presence of God in the midst of great suffering in the hopes that that same hope, love, and rejuvenation will give us strength of spirit and faith in times of hardship. 

With COVID-19 and social distancing, this holiday season is going to be extra stressful and filled with anxiety for many. As a mother of a newborn baby, Isaac Ostrove, and a child under 2, Madeleine Ostrove, I understand this anxiety and feel it more acutely than ever. I worry about the health of family, of loved friends, and of parishioners. I worry about how to explain what is happening to children who can’t understand but do understand the stress in the home. 

Perhaps this is the time to look for the presence of God. Perhaps this is the time to look to God in prayer, as those early believers did, whether it was the Jews in slavery in Egypt or it was the early followers of Christ mourning the execution of their teacher and friend, this is the time for us to turn to God in prayer and to invite his new life and new beginnings into our lives and into our world. 

So look upon the new life all around you. From the baby animals being born as we speak, to the babies in our families, to the beautiful budding flowers and trees and see them as God’s reminder of his new life and hope for tomorrow. No matter what is happening in our world, with God there is always hope for tomorrow.

Mother Theresa said, “Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen.”

No matter our faith tradition, no matter what values we cling to in this time, we cannot let the grief of the pandemic going on around us make us forget that we are loved, valued, and our prayers are heard by a loving God who led the Jews to freedom and who offers us freedom today and a reminder of his presence with the unhindered beauty of new life all around.

So on behalf of the Congregational Church of Easton, I wish you a very blessed holiday season and spring. 

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