Spring is in the air. The clocks have jumped forward, the blossom and flowering bulbs have brought colour to our gardens, the sunshine and warmth have produced more joyful faces and friends and strangers have greeted one another in the streets. It’s as if the sun has warmed our hearts and much of what looked bleak and lifeless in creation has sprung into life.
The promise of Christmas, the birth of Jesus the Christ child who would be Saviour of the world, has been fulfilled and very soon on Easter Sunday we will be proclaiming “Jesus is Risen” and shouting “Alleluia”. The churches will resound with joy. Before that, however we will be walking the difficult way of the cross as we journey through Palm Sunday and its cheering crowds; through the remembering of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and its betrayal from friends; through the pain of the cross on Good Friday with its despair and hopelessness as Jesus is crucified and buried. The whole of human life is in that story with all its mess and disappointment. The message of Resurrection is not an escape from reality but a promise of life even in the midst of death and despair.
Like the creation in springtime after a season of barrenness, the message of Easter offers joy and peace because it declares that there is hope for all, no matter how hopeless the situation seems. It’s a promise of life beyond the grave, of hope beyond despair. It gives the assurance that nothing – not even death – is hopeless or can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. For God’s love is stronger than anything else and will ultimately triumph.
Whatever you are going through at this time, the Easter message proclaims that God sees and knows and understands and longs to meet you at your point of need and offer you hope. Know that there will always be a warm welcome at any of the services for you, your family, friends and neighbours.
Rev Jenny Impey