I continue with some guest posts… Easter Greetings from others — this from Beverley Osborn on Easter Day and some of my non-very-good and impeded by rain photographs from that remarkable most southern (third) island of Aotearoa / New Zealand.
“The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews.” (John20: 19).
“On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.” (Luke 23:55 – 24:1)
That very first Easter the disciples were in lock down but the essential services still needed to be provided and the women went to undertake their task at the first opportunity.
This Easter Sunday will be like no other we have ever experienced but there is that tenuous link. The difference between our present situation and that first Easter is, oddly enough, an even stronger link.
The disciples had locked themselves away in a fear-filled attempt to preserve their own lives. They were known associates of a man the Romans saw as a rebel leader stirring public resistance to their rule. The Jewish religious leaders were equally keen to quash any challenge to the status quo which worked for them.
We, on the other hand, have self-isolated not just to protect our own health but to save the lives of others. That is an attitude informed and nourished by the resurrection story. And all our highly valued essential services people working in today’s altered world are carrying out, whether or not they recognise it, the same resurrection message.
Resurrection is a rising to life of what appeared to be dead. The scared disciples had sealed themselves into a tomb of defeat and despair. Political expediency and power-holders seemed to have won. Self- interest, wealth, comfortableness and might would forever crush love and healing and self-giving.
And then the sealing stone was rolled away.
Easter Sunday is a time to celebrate the uprising of hope, the joyful promise of life. It calls us to fellowship – on-line, by telephone, by helping each other where we can. Fellowship is the kind of belonging that isn’t based on achievement, status, gender, colour or any other divisive “isms’. It’s community spirit based on the belief that everyone matters, everyone belongs.
Easter reminds us that even when hardships and griefs and sufferings seem overwhelming, they need not be endings – they can be transformations.
And Paul calls us to the kind of transformation that knows and lives all that is good and acceptable and perfect, God’s desire for us all. (Rom 12 :2)
It’s Easter! Let’s be thankful! Let’s celebrate with joy the rising of hope, the rising of awareness of what can be achieved when we work together for the overall good.