Some thoughts from my Priestfield Easter Blog.
Easter as a Season
‘Easter’ is a word that can carry a range of meanings. Sometimes we use it to include all the special events that took place in Jerusalem around the time when Jesus was raised to life – from Palm Sunday, through Maundy Thursday, to Good Friday and Easter Day. The truth is that it is only as we mark all these events that the Sunday of Resurrection has any meaningful content. We need to experience for ourselves the joyful anticipation of the entry to Jerusalem, followed by the utter desolation and despair of the disciples at the crucifixion of Jesus, before we can fully know the joy of that special Sunday.
Easter as a Day
Actually, joy was not the first emotion experienced on Easter Day. Confusion came first, swiftly followed by anger at the idea someone had stolen the body of Jesus. But then the stories came in about encounters with Jesus – a living, Risen Jesus – and while confusion was not exactly banished, it took second place to joy. Since that first Easter, joy has been the special mark of the day. We celebrate with heart, mind, voice and food – Jesus is alive for evermore and has conquered Death.
Easter as a Lifestyle
‘It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!’ Life is not always joyful. Death still barges into our lives, and sometimes life still feels as if it’s Good Friday with its suffering. But Sunday is coming. We wait in hope for the Day when we shall share in the Resurrection of Christ. In the meantime, we live as ‘Easter People’ in whom the Risen Jesus lives. His life will flow through us to others that they too will share the experience and hope of the ‘New Creation’ life of Jesus. It is as we live in this hope that Paul assures us, ‘Your labour is not in vain.’ Life has conquered Death.