The View from the Vicarage: Easter Sunday

I saw a meme on Social Media this weekend of Jesus rising from the tomb, it said beneath it ‘Not this year son, you gotta stay in” Despite originally being reasonably unimpressed as a comment on our current situation and the resurrection my reaction is “thank the Lord this couldn’t be further from the truth.” or even Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

So what does a locked down Easter among the fear of worry of a global pandemic have to say to each of us this morning, how is Easter after 3 weeks of government restrictions of 10,000 deaths in our nation alone. What does the church do when it is so used to meeting up and celebration, but more importantly what do we have to say this morning to a hurting, isolated and confused world.

Perhaps another meme for you, this one was a quote from Casey Kerins, “Maybe, for once, we celebrate Easter differently. Maybe we celebrate the Resurrection just as the disciples did: Alone, in the silence, hoping the faith outweighs the fear.”

Easter morning for those disciples was not what we have made it, there were no candles and bonfires, not liturgy and certainly no rousing hymns – let alone eggs and all the other wonderful ways we have grown into celebrating the resurrection.

That Easter morning found our disciples, minus Judas Iscariot locked down, hiding in isolation, in very real fear for their lives. These were the followers of a man who had been executed by the authorities who were waiting to see if they were next.

The birds were still singing outside, the sun still rose in the morning but for Mary and Mary Magdelene who went to see the tomb, who wanted to anoint their master and rabbi there was no Easter Joy. The doors of the rooms the disciples were locked up in stayed firmly shut – the man they had believed in, the one who called himself the Son of God was dead – this great plan to change the world, this wonderful man who had promised to much who had called them with him to transform the world died.

They had been locked away for 3 days void of hope, it might as well have been three weeks or the entire 3 years of the time they had spent with him what was coming next?

The women met an angel who told them that he was alive! Could this be, we are told the women were full of joy, but in Mark’s account we are also told they were full of fear, Jesus tells them in our reading to to be afraid – what was happening, what next – a few moments ago it was all over and now …..

A knock on the locked door, Mary and Mary cant help themselves, they blurt out the amazing news from the tomb, they have seen the Lord.

The disciples, alone looking out from darkness to light, hoping that the faith can outweigh the fear.

Whether we stand at the foot of the cross, the entrance to the empty tomb or even behind a locked door listening to Mary & Mary wondering if it can be true we stand on Holy Ground.

I want to share with you a message of hope that can outweigh the fear, as I do so I don’t know exactly how it is for you right now, I don’t know how that three weeks have been – I do know I stand on Holy ground.

This morning is a message of hope that outweighs the fear. Hold on my friends, we are stronger together even if we must be together apart. Stay faithful, light candles, clap for the carers and pray for those who are dying of this despicable disease, pray for a vaccine – there is hope to come.

This morning we do celebrate, we celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, we celebrate that hope and that future that even death cannot obliterate – Jesus is bigger than death itself.

My friends please stay safe, stay indoors and never lose hope

Our resurrection hymn:

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son:
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu’rors, thro’ thy deathless love:
bring us safe thro’ Jordan to thy home above.

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

 

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

Your friend and vicar

David

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