There is a place in my apartment, where if you position yourself just right, you can see the Empire State Building. Living downtown, there’s a maze of buildings between here and there, but if you sit just so, you can see it. And at night, it’s particularly spectacular, lit up in all it’s NYC glory.
It’s a bit of an icon of New York City, isn’t it? The most notable skyscraper in the Manhattan skyline. Piercing the sky with its imposing needle.
And every night, it’s lit up in a different color or colors. Always with a meaning. Pink for breast cancer. Blue and orange for the Knicks. Green and red for Christmas. Each night, something different.
Well, for the past couple weeks, since NYC has been battling COVID19, the building has been lit up in all red – with a pulse – that of a heartbeat. Signifying the heartbeat of NYC, and honoring the medical professionals and first responders, who are on the front lines of the battle.
It is simulataneously beautiful and haunting. The entire city is locked away, and the icon of NYC — what we’re all looking to out our collective holding cells — is the heartbeat. Beating on. Shining high above the city, reminding us that we’re all in this together, we’re all beating as one, and have hope in that unity.
It’s hard to believe that Easter weekend is upon us.
I was supposed to be in Cincinnati, celebrating with my family – painting eggs with my nieces, cooking up a beautiful brunch, cherishing togetherness and celebrating our risen Lord.
But instead, I’m quarantined in NYC with a pathetic “Happy Easter” candle I found on the clearance section of the Bed Bath and Beyond website as I was scouring for hand soap and paper products.
And not just me. Every single one of us is in a peculiar situation this Easter. We’re all away from loved ones. Prohibited from attending worship services.
And all grappling with the question: what is Easter without Church?
I was thinking about that just last night. I was sitting in the spot in my apartment, look at pulsing red Empire State Building, and that’s when it hit me:
Easter this year is going back to just that: the heartbeat.
The heartbeat of Christianity: the crux of our faith. The fundamental core that gives us life: Jesus.
This Easter, as many of us, like myself, find ourselves quarantined alone, or with just their nuclear loved ones, it’s up to us to make Easter “happen.” We’ve got to bring it back to our lifeline – our heartbeat: Jesus on the Cross.
The cross that, like the Empire State Building, is the shining over all the earth, pulsing in His crimson red — His blood shed for you and me — for us to look to in this time of trial. Reminding us that we’re all one family of believers. Reminding us of the hope we have in Him. And reminding us of His victory.
Now, more than ever, we need a victor, and Christ is just that. Triumphing over death. Over fear. Over isolation. Over despair. Over anxiety. Over loneliness.
Jesus conquered the grave. And this year, as we celebrate His resurrection from the confines of our quarantines, He is our collective heartbeat — as the risen Lord, alive again. His resurrection, without which, there would be no hope. Be no faith. Be no Christianity. It is the beating heart of our faith.
I pray that this Easter, we are all drawn closer than ever to His heart. That we can strip away the [albeit beautiful and meaningful] traditions and extra fluff — strip away the bunnies, the candy, the stressful entertaining obligations, the family photos, etc. — and just sit at the foot of the Cross. May we bring it back to His heartbeat.
May we be with Jesus as His heartbeat ceases on Good Friday. And then triumphantly returns Easter Sunday.
We’re all in this together. We may be physically apart, but our spirits are united as one: in Jesus.
May we all look to His pulsing heart, shining during this dark night, and remind us of the hope we have in Him, together as one body of Christ.
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God bless, yall are in my prayers.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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