We have slowly moved from the pain of Good Friday, through the eerie silence of Easter Saturday to find ourselves present on Easter Sunday. My invitation to you on this day is to lean into the real and authentic, however that may look and feel for you. This is what it looks like for me:
An Easter reflection:
Easter reflection: “Jesus is risen – Hallelujah!” is the cry ringing out from the church around the world today, while i am taking a quick sneak peek at the cross just to make sure there is not still a broken and bleeding body hanging from it.
Maybe i am stuck in the moments of this day when the disciples did not yet know what had happened. Mary and the women had not quite made it to the tomb for an encounter with the ‘gardener’. Peter and John had not completed their sprint to the graveclothes…
Because my throat sits with the echo of a prayer for a family halfway across the world where sickness and trauma rages riot despite an international community singing forth prayers in their general direction…
It echoes with the prayer for a good friend who has just shared news about a parent who has just wandered into one of the longest and darkest tunnels possible and another whose family life lies bruised and bleeding…
There is barely enough voice or faith left to offer up my own personal prayers of struggle and challenge, of personal difficulty and community grief, let alone the ongoing systemic burdens of racism and inequality and violence towards women and children.
And yet i breathe in and find it in myself to be able to whisper the words as if i mean them: Jesus is risen – Hallelujah… as if speaking them out will somehow make them feel more true.
i echo a prayer i have prayed far too regularly since returning from America and seeking to live a life more actively focused on Justice, especially for those who have been marginalised and oppressed in the country of my birth: I believe… help me overcome my unbelief
i believe… help me overcome my unbelief.
After all, faith without doubt is unnecessary. Why would you need to actively believe unless there was something shouting at you that your belief makes no sense at all. Or is a waste of time. Or is a lie. Faith exists in the presence of doubt and acts as a challenger to its cries
Be still and know that I am God.
Another prayer that often feels like the last strand of faith i have to hold on to.
Be still and know.
And i am held in this space and on this mission by the greatest command spoken, by Jesus, upon which all scripture and law hangs:
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your mind and all of your strength… and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
The easiest command to get behind as i know and remember and experience on a daily basis what it means to be well-loved. And to offer that to others feels like the easiest thing. Even when those others comes in the guise of enemy.
The FISH reminds me of the commitment i have made and make daily, to be Faithful In Serving Him, being fully aware that i far too often do not resemble Jesus in word, attitude or deed. But that He keeps calling me back to it and saying: Today, be that! Be my body and my Spirit!
So i commit once more to the mission. To the upside-down Kingdom. To the Serve one another in Love. To the looking out for the marginalised and those on the fringes and those in need of Justice or an elevated voice. To a life that seeks to Love God and Love people.
And as i walk away back into the world to live out a life that sings that Jesus IS risen [Hallelujah!] my eye for just a half of a second seems to fall upon a blood-and-water-stained instrument of torture and execution… that is indeed empty. So this really might all be true!
Wishing you and yours a happy Easter. One, in which even if you don’t quite know, you are still encouraged to believe until you do.
Let’s commit to being a better church that proves to the world by our lives that Jesus really is living among them…