Our Easter celebration was strange this year. I’m sure yours was as well. We heard the resurrection account and an Easter sermon, sang all of our favorite Easter hymns, and rejoiced that He is risen. (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) But we worshipped in our living room, separated from our church family. We enjoyed a traditional Easter dinner of ham and cheesy potatoes, but there were fewer faces around the table and more leftovers than there normally would be. We saw many of our loved ones; in fact, we saw more of them than we would normally see on Easter. But we saw their faces on a screen, not in person. As if all of this were not enough, here in southern Minnesota this completely bizarre Easter unfolded against the backdrop of a snowstorm. Four to six inches of snow would have been the thing we would remember about any other Easter; this year, it’s just one more thing.
This isn’t the Easter I wanted. Snow? Really?
And yet, how beautiful.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow.
Though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.
I wanted trumpets and sunshine and rejoicing. A house packed full of extended family. Cousin Easter egg hunts, games, laughter. God gave me a quiet day of remembrance at home with my husband and children. The peaceful leisure of nowhere to be. A world robed in white like my ransomed soul; a gorgeous image of the message of Easter.
Even as I recognize and appreciate the many blessings God continues to shower on me, I long for normalcy. And that is not wrong. It is good to long to be in God’s house. It is good to long to join with the body of Christ. And the big family dinners and the egg hunts and the bright, sunny days—those are good gifts of God too, gifts worthy of our longing.
We each have our own list of normal things we miss dearly, things that we are longing for right now. But there is one thing missing from my list that is probably near the top of the list for most of the people I know and love. So many of you are longing for school. Real school. Normal school. I think about you daily, and I want you to know that I want you to have normal school back too.
I’ve chosen to educate my children at home, but that doesn’t mean that I think another parent’s choice to entrust their child’s education to a school is wrong. You are the parent and you know your kids, their needs, and your goals for them. I trust your judgement, and I want your family to be able to live out the educational and career choices you have made. I want you to be able to enjoy all the benefits and blessings that you normally receive through your school. I am so sad for all the losses you and your kids are experiencing. They are many and significant. I’m sad for the difficulty of the task being asked of you, both of teachers and of parents, and the stress and pressure that I know many of you must be feeling.
I am profoundly sad for my congregation and for our school. Our kids may not attend, but it is still our school. We love our school. Now, we watch our principal’s grace-filled chapel recordings and I ache for the loss our friends are feeling. We feel this loss with you. It is a loss for the body of Christ, and we grieve for our members.
I hope that there are many moments of joy for you and your family in the midst of this. It is not what you want, but I hope you see unexpected blessings. I hope that you have found and continue to find strategies that help you to thrive. But also I hope, like you do, for an end to this disruption of all of the blessings that families receive through their schools.
Amanda Moldstad is a co-founder of the Lutheran Homeschool Association. She and her husband, John, homeschool their five children in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.