8th April 2021

17 May 2021 by Barbara Moore in: Pastoral Thoughts

MORE THOUGHTS 4       Mary Pearson

The challenging, thought-provoking, journey through Easter is behind us. We may well have had our minds filled with images, as words that are so familiar strike us once again and address us where we each find ourselves. We have moved out from that garden that held deathliness, emptiness, but also, as gardens do, the indications of new life. Now we are in a space that has been touched by so much grief, so many unanswered questions as we continue to accompany, in our imagining, the changes that were taking place for Jesus’ followers. They don’t know what to do. They have lost their leader. Their lives are in turmoil. They are fearful. Until Jesus comes to them again and, quite simply, speaks peace. They find ways to begin again, reassured that the life they knew in Jesus still surrounds them and will hold them, whatever lies ahead.

 

There is something organic in this message of brokenness, death and new life. It is what we know around us, what the creation shows us is happening endlessly. So often we are tempted to think that our human life is different from this, that we have more control over our destiny, that we can shape things how we would like them to be, that dying, somehow, is unnatural. Human power games are played out all the time, on individual levels, in communities, in and between countries. The effects of these are clear throughout history and are so much part of our lies now. In the symbolism of Holy Week, from Jesus riding into the seat of power on a donkey, a borrowed one at that, and in all that happened afterwards, we are shown the power of humility that is anything but weak. It is a message to which we are recalled, time and again, especially at this time of year. 

 

This cycle of the Church’s year, this message of resurrection life in which we are offered new beginnings in the light of forgiving grace, is re-played for us always. Now we have moved past Easter, it is not something that is simply there behind us as our memories of this year’s worship fade into the background. We can’t put Easter away because we are Easter people. So, we ask ourselves what this means for us this year in our own lives and in our own churches. Like the men and women who were Jesus’ followers back then, we are in a time of changing understandings because our world is changing rapidly too. As Easter people we have something to offer because we have been confirmed in faith and hope and humility and the knowledge that we don’t have to be whole to do that. As with those friends of Jesus, our brokenness and vulnerability is part of the reality of life, but only one part of our story, because God uses that too, and through it shows us the gift and grace of love. The tomb is empty behind us. Can we comprehend the freedom of this? 

We are an Easter people, ours is an Easter faith, 
the yeast is rising in the bread, our wine has vintage taste.
Christ is risen, Christ is risen, risen in our lives.

We are an Easter people, ours is an Easter faith, 
our tears are freed to flow and heal our shattered hopes and hearts.
Christ is risen, Christ is risen, risen in our lives.                                                                                                    

We are an Easter people, ours is an Easter faith, 
our fears have died, we rise to dream, to love, to dance, to live.                                      Christ is risen, Christ is risen, risen in our lives.