Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.

Unmasking our hope this Easter weekend | Guest column

This is the weekend that Christians around the globe celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It recalls a weekend two millennia ago when the followers of the rabbi from Nazareth were sheltering in place fearing for their lives. Behind closed doors, the eleven were devastated that their 12th man had been silenced.

Their friend and teacher was dead and buried. So, too, were their hopes and dreams. A pandemic of paranoia and disillusionment imprisoned their emotions. They had given up everything to follow him and now all seemed in vain. What they’d considered normal would never be the same. Or so they thought.

What Jesus’ followers experienced for a weekend, much of the world has experienced for a year. In spite of being masked and maintaining a social distance separated by six feet, upwards of 600,000 in our country have ended up six feet under.

In a post-pandemic parade, fear and depression have joined the ranks of the grieving and the unemployed. Exhaustion and frustration have taken up the rear along with reluctant virtual learners and faithful virtual worshipers. Unlike the Seahawks Super Bowl victory celebration seven years ago, this parade is not a happy scene.

For the early Christians, the despair and disillusionment they experienced that three-day weekend was nothing less than gut-wrenching. What began Thursday evening was a portent of something ominous. The traditional Seder supper was less than satisfying. While Jesus had modeled humility by washing their feet, clean feet were not enough to compensate for what followed the meal. There was talk of death. There was talk of treason.

As Thursday morphed into Friday, it was anything but good. There was betrayal, cowardice, a kangaroo court and ultimately crucifixion. A public execution witnessed by family and friends. The grief was intense.

And then there was a self-enforced lockdown. Fearing guilt by association, the followers of Jesus quarantined in that familiar upper room. For how long? They had no clue. After all, that first Easter weekend there was no way of knowing Friday would one day be labeled “Good.” Neither did anyone know that the events of Sunday morning would redefine the significance of what had taken place.

Even as the restrictions under which we have lived as a nation are beginning to be lifted, the pandemic of fear that paralyzed the early Christian disciples was not permanent. An unexpected discovery early Sunday morning proved monumental.

A sealed tomb was accessible. A corpse was missing. Jesus’ followers could not locate him but the face covering and the strips of cloth (that had been wrapped mummy-like around their friend) were only too visible. The nightmare through which they had lived for three days was over. Sleepless nights of agonizing despair gave way to dreaming of what yet might be.

For Christians down through the centuries, a vacant grave became a virtual vaccination of sorts. What once was dreaded can now be embraced as a necessary part of life. What once was viewed as a death sentence is seen from a new perspective. Life is no longer punctuated by a period but rather by a semi-colon. For his followers, Jesus’ defeat of death has taken the fear of our own mortality away.

This Easter weekend people of all faiths are finding cause to celebrate. The fear that has held us hostage for more than a year is beginning to evaporate like mist in the morning sun. Increased vaccinations and decreased hospitalizations find us dreaming of brighter, happier days. Death is being swallowed up in life. The joy of restored normality cannot be masked by face coverings. By the dawn’s early light, hope can be detected on the horizon of tomorrow.

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
2022 Legislature is on the horizon – here’s what to expect | Roegner

The upcoming session of the Washington state Legislature will be the short… Continue reading

Rich Elfers, “In Focus”
Do we take our neighboring nations for granted? | In Focus

Does the United States take Canada and Mexico for granted? The United… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Honoring heroes goes beyond lowering flags to half-mast | Brunell

Lowering our flags to half-staff seems to be an all too familiar… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Public safety takes centerstage in local elections | Roegner

In Seattle and most suburban cities, the overwhelming message was that the… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Washington’s secretary of state leaves big shoes to fill | Roegner

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently announced she will leave her state… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: A story of resettlement | Guest column

The wind is strong. It carries the colored leaves of fall to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
The rest of the story: Sound Transit, Rolovich and Lambert | Roegner

All of the reporters I know are ethical and trustworthy. But I… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
When it comes to power, Washington may be falling behind | Brunell

For years, Washington state masked its high business and regulatory costs with… Continue reading

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.
Calendars help us to number our days | Guest column

It wasn’t until I was out of seminary and serving my first… Continue reading

Email editor@mi-reporter.com
Even more Mercer Island candidate letters | Election 2021

Editor’s note: Due to the volume of letters endorsing Mercer Island candidates… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
A look at city council races around the region | Roegner

Hot contests in Mercer Island and Bellevue.