Sunday, April 19, 2020 Bright and Saving PASCHA of our Lord Jesus Christ
And who is the God who will deliver you out of my hands?— Pharaoh, King of Egypt to Moses the Great, Patriarch, Prophet & God-seer
The taunt of this particular Egyptian ruler rings down through the centuries and is rehearsed every Great and Holy Saturday during one of the 13 readings from the Old Testament. But it is more than a taunt or even an honest query: It is the prayer of every person in the grip of some power beyond their making or control.
The whole world lies currently in the grip of something this massive. A tiny microbe that silently replicates itself through the slightest of contact between fellow human persons and can cause serious illness and even death among those most vulnerable. The novel coronavirus has in a relatively short period of time brought whole nations to their knees asking, “What medicine or cure can deliver us from our slavery to this microorganism?”
The same God who was glorified on Pharaoh and on all his boasted chariots can deliver us in our present circumstances. For He has been where no mere mortal has ever dared to go. By His death, the incarnate Word of God has harrowed hell, and by His glorious resurrection, He has granted life to those in the tombs. Nothing now remains to separate us from the love of God from the most exalted and powerful ruler down to the tiniest microbe.
He is the God who delivers from bondage to sin and death and there is nothing too great or too marvelous for Him to perform. As we sing at the Agape Vespers today, “Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God who workest wonders!”
May He who rose from the dead, Christ our True God, give life and deliverance to us in our present calamity.
Christ is risen! Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Христос Воскресе!
Truly, Truly, He is risen!
Here is our favorite audio and visual of the Paschal service in its entirety from a monastery in the center of Moscow who has been live streaming and recording its services online long before the present pandemic.