MORE THOUGHTS 6 Mary Pearson
As time moves on day by day, the events of Easter, however important they are to us as Christians, fade into the normal pattern of our lives. They remain a major event, a life changing happening, indeed a death changing happening, so Easter is always there for us, but our own lives take over the focus, as we get on with things. How do we continue to allow Easter to shape us? What do we learn of the response of Jesus’ friends back then?
The gospel accounts are very familiar to us and we know about the grief, the fear, the anxieties, the questioning. We know that for these people there was the shock of knowing that their lives would never be the same again. For the, after everything they had experienced as they followed Jesus, there could be know going back to what had been their normality beforehand.
Perhaps one of the most important things for Jesus’ disciples was the realization that they were not, could not be in control of things. All that had been taken away. Now they had to depend of discovering hour by hour, day by day, what God might be doing in and around them. Jesus appeared to them and confirmed for them that they were just beginning a new journey which they would carry on with the blessing of God’s Spirit and with the deep peace that came from understanding that. This was something completely separate from the way in which they saw and experienced the Roman and Jewish authorities working. They knew now, that all that had been done to Jesus to try to put an end to his message had failed. It had failed because it was beyond the power of the authorities to control. This was a huge thing to grasp: that Jesus had handed over control, allowed himself to be totally vulnerable even to the point of death, and yet, those in control had not won. This was something that Jesus’ disciples began to see was foundational for the way they were now to live – in trust. They knew they couldn’t trust in their own strength, ability or power. They knew they were vulnerable, but now that was all right.
This is something that everyone grapples with, sometimes all the time. There are always things that make us feel vulnerable, times when we just want to take control over our lives to protect ourselves form the things that are happening around us and, often, the people who seem to be threatening us. In times of change this is especially powerful, because we often can’t see a way ahead and prefer to look behind, because our memories can trick us into thinking that all was well “back then”. In reality every times has it challenges. In this Easter season, as it still is, maybe the way we continue to carry the Easter message within us is to recognize that when there is much that we can’t do, such a time is one when we can strip away our pretence of control and, in humility, place our trust in God again. That is certainly not a call to inaction. It is a call to re-focus on the One who is always working at the transformation of our lives so that we may ever more faithfully take up our role as Easter people, in humility, trust, and joyful freedom. It’s what Jesus’ disciples discovered as they went on, day by day.
You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace
The mountains and the hills will break forth before you
There'll be shouts of joy and all the trees of the field
Will clap, will clap their hands.