Easter Sunday has been unwrapped for another year. I hope that you will have enjoyed special Easter moments - whether that be rereading those familiar Gospel passages about the discovery of the empty tomb, getting up at sunrise for a time of prayer or singing ‘Thine be the Glory’ at the top of your voice over Zoom. Some of the ways Easter was unwrapped in 2021 may have been different due to Covid restrictions but I trust that the experience was no less meaningful. That’s the thing about the mysteries at the heart our faith such as Easter. No matter how many times you hear the stories and celebrate the Resurrection there’s always more layers of it waiting to be unwrapped and more truths waiting to revealed of the power of God’s grace.
If you are like me, the Biblical account of Christ’s death and Resurrection won’t have been the only thing unwrapped over the past few days. If you are like me, there will be the odd chocolate Easter egg wrapper left as a reminder of Easter joys. Like the tomb on Easter Sunday, the Easter egg wrapper may be empty now. It is empty because I have taken in the sweet goodness it contained (all the more sweet for those of you who gave up chocolate for Lent). I pray that something similar may be said of our lives as individual disciples of Jesus and communities of faith. In other words that we might not be hung up on the wrappings of Easter customs but that our lives may be filled with the sweet goodness of the Easter message. Best of all, the Gospel doesn’t wear out or get used up like Easter chocolate, it continues to be grow through the presence of the Spirit of the Risen Christ at work within us. Let us pray that people in our neighbourhoods may catch glimpses of the Easter Gospel reflected in our attitudes, choices, words and actions. May our lives and not just our lips be filled with Alleluias.
This Easter let’s give thanks for Gospel hope which defeats emptiness not with a quick ‘sugar high’ like the Easter egg but with a lasting sense of purpose and peace. This is a good reason to join in singing Easter hymns old and new. So, I will leave the last words to John Bell and Graham Maule:
‘Christ is risen and forever
Lives to challenge and to change
All whose lives are messed and mangled,
All who find religion strange.
Christ is risen. Christ is present,
Making us what he has been-
Evidence of transformation
In which God is known and seen.’ (STF 296)