Go back to normal view
It is almost Easter! The world is beginning to come to life again. We have plodded our way through the darkest half of the year. The days are lengthening. The clocks have gone forward. And spring has definitely sprung. The cherry tree just across the road from my kitchen is filling with the most glorious blossom and every day brings a new bulb coming into flower, or a few more leaves on the trees. It is a time of promise, a time of new beginnings, a time of hope.
Easter too is a time of hope, of promise and of new beginnings. We plod our way through Lent, with its more sombre religious observance. We refrain from using what the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, referred to as “The A Word”. * We might, perhaps, adopt some additional spiritual discipline. We follow the final journey of our Lord through Holy Week to his betrayal, and trial, and condemnation, and on to his death on the Cross and his burial in the tomb.
It is easy for us to forget just how appalling those few days must have been for the first disciples of Jesus. We know the rest of the story. We know what happened next. They had to experience it, and they were desolate. All of their hopes had come to nothing. They were far further back than the beginning. This was, for them, the end.
And then, out of the darkness, the women come to find them with a most peculiar story – the tomb is empty, the body has gone. It’s followed by an even more peculiar story – Mary Magdalene has seen Jesus and spoken to him. And finally, Jesus appears to all the disciples, not once but several times. They begin to understand that something has happened that is totally new. This was not what they had hoped for. It was much, much more. The story would be far bigger than the one they had imagined and life would never be the same again.
Life throws all sorts of things at us. Whether we are ploughing through our own crucifixion-type experience, or rejoicing in the coming Spring, we can know that the message of Easter has something to say to us. God has been in the darkness and he knows about its pain. God created light and joy and he wants to share it with us.
Christ is Risen!
May the miracle of Easter bring you renewed faith, hope and joy.
* The A Word – Alleluia - We don’t use it during Lent!