How churches are celebrating the “good” in Good Friday and Easter this Covid season
Gabriel Choo // March 29, 2021, 4:45 pm
The Easter message of hope and Jesus' victory over death is especially relevant as the pandemic continues to cast its shadow, say pastors. Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash.
One year ago, Good Friday and Easter had to be commemorated at home amidst Circuit Breaker restrictions. Happily, this year, many are able to attend physical services in church during Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter, with safe distancing measures in place.
Salt&Light spoke to church leaders on how the Easter message of Jesus’ victory over death is especially true this season.
God is in the valleys: The Methodist Church in Singapore
The Easter message of resurrection from death is especially relevant whenever we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, said Rev Dr Gordon Wong, Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS).
These “valleys” (Psalm 23: 4) might not even be big events like Covid-19, but daily personal struggles too, he told Salt&Light.
“Let us find comfort in the love of God the Good Shepherd, who walks with us.”
“Sadly, we have ‘dark valley experiences’ all year round, not just because of Covid-19. There are also many other calamities casting shadows on our world today.”
The Bible’s recurring message behind Good Friday and Easter is a timely reminder of the promise that God will never leave us.
“Though we may walk through many valleys of the shadow of death, let us find comfort in the love of God the Good Shepherd, who walks with us and calls us to love each other in our time of need,” Rev Dr Wong said.
“Let us love God by loving our neighbours through sharing the wonderful good news that neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
As in previous years, MCS will continue to urge its flock to “not forget to do good” (Galatians 6:9). Volunteers can befriend disadvantaged families, offer financial support, or give voice to the marginalised though The Giving Methodist campaign.
Living again because of the resurrection: Hope Church Singapore
“We still want to encourage people to reach out to their friends in this new normal.”
Wantasen’s April 2020 wedding was postponed to December because of Circuit Breaker. But she never made it down the aisle.
In June, her fiancé, Aloysius Mikael Chin, was killed instantly in a car crash.
Wantasen spiralled into depression and had thoughts of suicide.
In the video testimony, she will share how God healed her supernaturally and how she received the strength to live again. She now counsels others who have lost loved ones too.
Wantasen also has the comfort and assurance that Chin is with God for eternity because of his faith in Jesus.
“Through Aloysius and Michelle’s story, we want to introduce people to Jesus and the blessed assurance that we have when we believe in Him,” said Pastor Timothy Yeo of HCS.
Wantasen’s testimony will be shared at HCS’s 10 Easter services (capped at 250 attendees each) on Saturday and Sunday at four locations. Those who are not able to attend may watch it online.
Ps Yeo encourages church members to invite their friends to attend the service in person, or to attend a live-stream or pre-recorded service together.
His reconciliation is present: Bethesda Bedok-Tampines Church
“Reconciliation” is the theme at Bethesda Bedok-Tampines Church (BBTC), which will hold two services on Good Friday and three more over the Easter weekend.
“The cross is still relevant because Jesus is alive.”
Two members of the church will be sharing their personal testimonies on how God’s love worked in their broken relationships. One had a conflict with a supervisor, and the other, with their spouse.
“God’s work of reconciliation is very present in all our lives. We want to remember, honour and worship our Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done for us on the cross 2,000 years ago,” Pastor Darren Kuek told Salt&Light.
“It paved the way for man to reconcile with God – and even to reconcile with each other.”
“The cross is still relevant because Jesus is alive. We believe this message is needful – all the more in the time of Covid-19.”
God understands suffering: The Presbyterian Church in Singapore
The English Presbytery Holy Week Convention 2021 will be held from March 31 to April 2 at Adam Road Presbyterian Church.
The theme for this year’s convention is the Cross and the newly elected Methodist Bishop, Rev Dr Gordon Wong, will be expounding on Psalm 22 and 23 in the context of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The services will be live-streamed, and may be shown as part of the Good Friday services at other Presbyterian churches.
“The cross is a reminder to us that God Himself suffered.”
“The consistent message of Easter regardless of Covid-19 is that we live in a fallen world with much pain and suffering,” said Rev Keith Lai, the Synod moderator of The Presbyterian Church in Singapore.
“The cross is a reminder to us that God Himself suffered, and He willingly took our curse and condemnation and in divine exchange He gave us His gift of righteousness,” added Rev Lai, who is also the president of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS).
“The pandemic has heightened our awareness of the same truths.”
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