Six ways to reach out in Easter lockdown
As Christians we are Easter people. We live in the light of the resurrection of Christ. This is true whether we are old or young, whether suffering from coronavirus or not. In this Holy Week, here are five of the many ways we can share the life-giving message of Easter without even leaving our homes:
1. Easter Means Hope
Across the country children have been drawing rainbows to put up in the window. As one headteacher in Midlothian said to the BBC: “We did not want it all to be doom and gloom for the children. We thought this would be a really visual way of bringing hope at a time when there is not much out there. It also sends a message to the elderly people to say we are thinking of you and hopefully it will give them some joy too.”
A group of Christians including evangelist Glen Scrivener have created a website, EasterMeansHope.com with some downloadable Easter rainbows. The website is something you can share beyond the church or put on Facebook in confidence that it will be accessible to them. There are videos for different questions and ages, including an animation on ‘The Good News in 90 seconds’, produced by Speak Life. The website also offers webinars on subjects like ‘How can I pray (perhaps for the first time?), and ‘How can I face my anxiety?’. They also have a clear link to the Christianity Explored church finder.
2. Easter Changed My Life
A vicar in Cumbria, Robin Ham, had the excellent idea of encouraging Christians sharing a simple testimony on social media to bring the hope of Easter amidst lockdown. As it says on their Facebook page, ‘This will probably be the strangest Easter most of us will have known. We desperately want to share the hope of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but being in lockdown makes it practically difficult. So here’s the idea:
• If someone asked you ‘What difference have the events of Easter made to you?’, what would you say?
• Can you film yourself sharing your answer on your phone? Not polished and perfect – just your authentic Jesus story
• Over the coming days let’s share our stories online using the hashtag #EasterChangedMyLife and see what it leads to!
Putting the hashtag after every video and every post is that the curious can click on it to find all the other stories. They will be similar, but we know they will all be different. To inspire you, here is Dan’s story from All Souls Langham Place, actually filmed many years ago but still on the Evangelical Alliance website:
3. Share a film
Evangelical Alliance’s Phil Knox has put together an excellent 3 minute spoken word Easter video, bringing a message of Jesus’ hope to share with all those who need it. As God’s people, we have a sure hope that whatever darkness we might be feeling now, Easter is just around the corner and is a wonderful time for us to remember Jesus, the light of the world, making a way out of darkness for us.
You can view and download the video here.
There are more evangelistic Easter videos at ‘Go Chatter’.
4. Sing hymns together
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) are calling on all who want to celebrate the resurrection to go outside at 10am on Easter Sunday 12 April 2020 and sing Jesus Christ is Risen Today and Thine be the Glory at the top of their voices!
Called ‘Sing Resurrection’, the hymns could be sung in your garden, your street, like an Italian from your balcony! Or on your permitted daily walk in your local park, by the sea or by a lake…all of course keeping safe spatial distance.
The CTBI website here has a guide. These hymns are probably the best loved Easter hymns known by the largest number of people: “cheerful, confident and joyful acclamations of resurrection”.
• FIEC has also put together an Easter Spotify Playlist.
5. Online Church
On Easter Sunday churches across the country will be broadcasting live services which anyone can join. Find some examples in the list here. The Church of England will be broadcasting a service with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Dover, which you will be able to find here on Facebook as well as other places.
People are praying more than ever before. One website to recommend to those who are unfamiliar with prayer is trypraying.co.uk which says it is “for those who are not religious and don’t do church”, but offers a free booklet and stories of people whose lives have been transformed by the simple act of reaching out to God.
We can all pray this Easter. Those who are bedbound, those who are unwell, those who are not on social media or don’t have family nearby…. We can all pray for the hope and light and resurrection power of Jesus Christ to be made known this Easter Sunday.
Blog written by Laura Treneer