After one of the longest Lents, Easter has finally come. After the darkness and struggle and horror, we are reminded of the beautiful light of dawn that breaks through the darkness. How we need that light…
I think of Mary Magdalene in the garden, recognising Jesus through her tears, and realising, with joy, that he is Risen. I think of the two people on the road to Emmaus, thinking if only things had been different, and then eventually recognising the true identity of their companion on the road.
Sometimes our lives are strewn with ‘ if onlys’. If only that person had responded differently, if only that had worked out otherwise, if only I had realised………. There are so many broken dreams and hopes..
Yet somehow, we believe that even in the midst of hurt and brokenness, Jesus is with his people, with a desire to forgive, to heal and to redeem. For the one willing to suffer mocking, beating, a crown of thorns, and the nails of the cross, the perfect sacrifice to bring forgiveness for all who ask, he understands the injustices and pain of life. And that is not the end, for on the third day he rose again. God revealed his power, the gift of eternal life, and that there is always the possibility of new beginnings.
I don’t know where you are in your life, if things are going smoothly, or if these are painful days. What I hope for all people is that the Easter message reminds us that we are loved, that we are of value, for Jesus died for each one of us to bring that message of forgiveness and grace. And then on Easter morning, we have the message of the angels – do not fear. The Risen Lord goes into the upper room, and says ‘ peace be with you.’ Whatever we are going through, may we receive the forgiveness, peace and hope of God.
Risen Christ, you come to your tearful and despairing people, you call us by name, lift us up and give us new life. We are so grateful for your patience with us, for we are so obstinate and self centred. Forgive us. After the deep darkness of night, thankyou that the sky brightens, and the sun still rises, and that a new day dawns. May your Word bring healing from fear confusion and grief, and remind us of the joy of living in your love. Holy spirit, You have shaped our lives through challenge and heartache, but the butterfly is emerging from the cocoon. May we be attentive to your call, and the fashioning of our souls in your image. Thankyou Lord, Amen.