The early part of this year found me much pre-occupied with my father’s declining health, and his passing away on the 9th February. As we headed from the graveside, I said to my son Daniel, you’ll be doing this for me one day – grim but true.
But now it’s Easter and I’m glad it’s Easter, because I love Easter morning at Christ Church. I walk into a beautiful church, wonderfully decked with flowers and see real joy in faces of God’s people. Why? Because of all that we are celebrating together – beautifully summed up in these words from Peter’s first epistle to the early church:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” (1 Peter 1 v3-4)
As a grieving Christian, Easter comes to me as both a challenge and an encouragement. I am challenged that I have allowed myself to become so preoccupied with the human sadness of loss. But more than anything I am encouraged. The message of Easter is that Christ is risen! We have a hope which transcends all human loss. The Eucharistic prayer beautifully sums up the core of our Easter hope in the words “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!”
So this Easter morning, I rejoice. My loved ones both here and departed are safe in God’s hands. Every ray of sunshine, every new flower and even every Easter egg speaks of the living power of God. So when we start our services, I’ll be saying these words louder than ever before:
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!”
Yours in Christ,