May 2017

Easter is not a one day wonder

I am writing this in the week after Easter - the time leading up towhat used to be called Low Sunday. That was a highly revealing title for those who felt that, once the actual Easter celebrations were over, everything felt just a little flat. And one can see why. We here had a particularly busy Lent, especially with a Lent course which I found immensely fulfilling: I just hope that then other people there did also. Then Holy Week was wondrous, with excellent weather for the Palm Sunday procession, really good attendance at the various services, a lovely Maundy Thursday supper - always a highlight of my year - and, as for Easter Day, well, I can only say that the service on the mountain top was quite stunning (photos available on the website!). And of course the churches all looked quite lovely. And I know that doesn’t happen without a huge amount of work from a huge amount of people. Very many thanks to them. And then suddenly it all seems over.

But, of course, it isn’t. Easter is always a start. As we looked down on the valleys and beyond at dawn on Easter Day, we were reminded of the vision of John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation who saw a new heaven and a new earth. And we were reminded that the new earth is a place of peace and justice and love and reconciliation, and that it is our joy as people who want to live the life of Easter to open the eyes of others to how this world could be. And has there ever been a time when this as more important? When we see around us in so many ways in all its gruesomeness a world where war is regarded as preferable to peace, where hate is seen as stronger than love and where creating division is seen as better than drawing people together. And it doesn’t need to be like that. And all it needs is for people like us to make it clear that we don’t accept that: that we have a gospel to proclaim in which peace is always better than war, in which love is infinitely stronger than hate, and in which bringing people together is always without exception better than driving them apart. And it takes more than one day for that to happen.

Easter is not an event. It is a way of life - a way of life to which we are all called. What we have seen from the mountain top we need to live in our lives, not just for one day, or one season, but for ever. We have seen a new heaven and a new earth: let us make sure that others see it and embrace it as well.

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