Easter Day, the Day of Resurrection, a day of celebration.
The rising sun may have hidden behind hazy cloud, but I, and many others, greeted the dawn outside with shouts of praise; Alleluia, He is Risen. As the morning progressed, the sun shone and many came together for morning worship. Then, as the day drew to a close, our celebrations ended in Creeting St Mary, Thine be the glory, risen, conquering son. Then on Monday it rained.
Somehow, rain on Easter Monday seems appropriate. After the rollercoaster ride that is Holy Week, the celebratory air of Easter Day; what comes next? It’s as if “Well that’s over for another year”. It happens in every aspect of life. A wedding, a birthday, a new school or job; the excitement soon wears off. Then we wake up and it’s raining and there is work to do.
For Jesus’ first disciples, the days following his resurrection were puzzling. He came and went. He was the same, yet different. What did it all mean? Soon Jesus would be gone, ascended. Then, at Pentecost, came the Holy Spirit. These were one-off experiences; fundamental and life changing.
Although they didn’t realise it at the time, Jesus’ disciples had embarked on a journey of discovery which would take them through the rest of their lives. As they went they would learn new ways, and unlearn old ones. There would be many changes, and not a few setbacks. They had to learn, for example, that God was God of all people (eg: Acts 10: 34). Salvation was of the Jews (John 4:22), but not exclusively for them. They would also learn what it meant to be ‘servant leaders’; no palace life or riches in this life for them. (Matthew 20: 26-7)
And what of us? Jesus’ death and resurrection was a once-in-eternity event; Good Friday and Easter Day are their anniversaries. Such a fundamental change can only happen once in our life. It is also true that, on a smaller scale, each Easter is a fresh entry into the new life Christ brings; a life to be lived out as much in the ordinariness of a wet Monday, as in the sunshine of Easter Day.
Rev Philip Payne Sunday after Easter
The Notice Sheet for 16th April can be found here