LENT is over and we have marked Easter Sunday with chocolate eggs and perhaps a trip to church or something special on Bank Holiday Monday.
What next? Sometimes we think of Easter as being the big day, the climax, the finish – once we have made it through Lent and the big celebration is past we can heave a sigh of relief and return to life as normal.
But it is not really meant to be like that. Easter is not meant to be an ending but a beginning, a point where things change. Easter changes ‘normal’ life because on that first Easter Jesus burst the bonds of death.
That is not easy for us to take on board. For the angels at the tomb it was easy, they have no doubts: “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” they ask the bemused women who come looking for Jesus’ missing body, “He is not here, he is risen”.
But for those women and for us it can take a little longer to get our head around the reality of the resurrection.
But God has left the tomb and he is out and about in his world. Other than Mary Magdalene, the first disciples didn’t encounter the risen Jesus at the empty tomb or in especially holy places but all over – in the countryside, on the road to the village of Emmaus, on the foreshore of Lake Galilee, in a locked room. Succeeding generations of Christians have found that by his Spirit we can still encounter the risen Jesus everywhere.
So as we remember the first Easter and the empty tomb, may we too encounter the risen Christ; not just in church but wherever we are – and may we discover for ourselves that Jesus’ resurrection changes everything.
Wishing you God’s Grace and Peace
Vicar, Christ Church, Cotmanhay and Shipley