While it seems no time since Christmas, we are already in Lent, and in order to have Easter cards ready for distribution to the Parish at the right time, they have just been ordered from the printer. That has meant getting the brain into fast-forward to draft an Easter message while trying to keep the heart in Lent, still early on in the journey to the cross.
The process was helped by recently reading sections of Tom Wright’s book, ‘How God Became King,’ in which he reflects on how Cross and Kingdom relate to each other, including the clash of God’s Kingdom with Caesar’s Empire. The brief message is below together with the picture from the front of the card. If you are the praying kind, pray that it will be used to speak to those who see and read. Thanks.
Our fluffy bunnies, chocolate eggs and the bright colours of Spring flowers on display seem a million miles away from that first Easter weekend two thousand years ago. The darkness of midnight descended upon Jerusalem at mid-day on Friday, shrouding the suffering of the three men hanging in agony upon Roman crosses. The forces of Empire and Religion had joined together to do away with the Pretender to Israel’s throne – the one they call Jesus, who hung upon that central cross. Might appeared to have triumphed over right.
Yet, in that darkness something mysterious was happening. Christians believe that on this cross, Jesus was taking to himself the evil, suffering and sin of the world – and by doing so brought about the restoration of our relationship with God. But how can we think that this is so? Because death could not conquer Life; darkness could not extinguish Light. On the Third Day, the first Easter Sunday, the Crucified One became the Risen One. God’s King had triumphed over Caesar and all the forces of Evil. Jesus was alive, and lives for evermore.
Perhaps, after all, the bright colours of Spring flowers will help us celebrate the victory of Jesus over death – as a symbol of the new life he offers to us today.
Jared Hay (Minister)