Think about it, they were isolated from the world. In some cases, such as with Thomas, separated from each other. They were fearful of what was going on, what would happen next. Fearful for their lives, fearful for how their association with (exposure to) Jesus might impact their loved ones. They were forgetful, so that when two of them took a walk to get away from it all (on the road to Emmaus) Jesus showed up and had to remind them of everything that has happened in the world since the beginning of time, reminding them that they were all called for such a time as this. Those two guys were heading back to "business as usual" and they were reminded, from now on things are not going to be normal. "Behold, I am beginning a new thing!"
We may not be able to congregate for easter, but we will celebrate it, by experiencing what it was like (maybe just a little bit) on that first Easter, in lockdown in our own upper rooms. We will need to be reminded about humility, mercy and justice that God requires of us, as we become his hands and feet, mouth piece and ears, for those who are suffering far more than we are. We are going to find that eventually we can go out, like Peter and John did when they eventually ventured out to the temple. They told the man begging on the side of the road, "We don't have any money, but this is what we do have." And they shared not only a message of hope, but got the man up on his feet, "singing and shouting and praising God."
Those of you who have the resurrection hope inside, you know this is a time to "let go and let God" (to use an AA phrase) this is the time to say" "I'm here Lord, use me.". This is the time to listen, to respond, to be imaginative, to be bold. You can do that and stay well, stay safe. There are so many little ways we can move outside of ourselves and our isolation and truly celebrate the hope of the abundant life that was promised to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We may not be able to gather on the streets to shout in our King of KIngs, Lord of Lords, my Christian brothers and sisters. We may not be able to gather for our sunrise services. We may not fill our churches buildings.
There may be other uses for our time and buildings and networks that can help those who God so loved that He died for. We are the church, not a building. It may be that some of our church buildings will need to be converted into quarantine facilities, it may be that some of us will have to be on the front lines helping out in hospitals, it may be that we need to welcome in strangers who have no place to stay, it may be that we have to start doing some of those difficult things that Jesus suggested while he was walking on the earth. It is most definitely a time to pray, not just to mutter and peep, but to really confess our own complicancy, really cry out for mercy, really weep for the pain others are suffering, really ask for "God's will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven." And......yes......to celebrate Easter!