'Easter brings reason to hope in difficult times'

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19 File photo dated 20/10/20 of hospital staff on a Covid-19 ward.

Ilford Road Baptist Church has been praying for doctors and nurses caring for Covid patients - Credit: PA

Over the last year it has been hard to hold on to hope. How many times have we seen rising infection rates, hospital admissions up and the death rate higher than ever? It has been hard to hope.

Perhaps the saddest picture I saw was a young couple with their little child visiting one of their parents. And as grandma took the child in her arms, the boy asked: "Where’s grandad?"

It has been hard to hope. 

As a church, we’ve prayed often for doctors and nurses caring every day for patients; we’ve remembered those who have been bereaved, even though we had no possibility of remembering all their names.

It has been hard to hope. 

Pastor Andrew Willis of High Road Baptist Church, Ilford.

Pastor Andrew Willis feels there is now hope through the pandemic - the Easter Hope - Credit: Archant

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But now maybe, after more than a year, there is reason to hope.

Three vaccines have been approved; 30 million have received their first dose. Numbers of infections, hospital admissions and deaths is falling. Cautiously we hope that the roadmap out of lockdown will run smoothly. But we don’t know for sure – there may be more bumps along the way. 

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But there is hope. Real hope. Hope that survives the worst we ever face in this world.

The Easter hope. 

Christians remember how Jesus died - for us, because of our bad attitudes and behaviour. And we celebrate joyfully his resurrection.

In his death and resurrection we have great hope: of forgiveness now; his presence in all our pains; and one day he will transform the world.

The Easter hope.

However bumpy the road out of lockdown, we can have hope. The Easter hope. 

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