I was looking back at my letter last April when we were at the start of the very first lockdown. At that time I described how I felt that my heart was breaking with the church being closed, my school being closed and being unable to hug and be with family and friends. Now, we are hopeful that we are moving forward. We will be, God willing, worshipping in church on Easter Day and on the road out of Lock down. We have been and continue to go through devastating times with the loss of life and the loss of things we have always taken for granted like being close to people, eating a meal with friends and giving a hug but there is hope.
As Christians, we have moved from the devastation of Good Friday and become Easter People – People of Hope
I love the Easter Story, the women in the garden first thing, Peter`s encounter with Jesus following his denial and the two men walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus
One of my favourite exchanges is between Jesus and Mary Magdalene on Easter morning. You all know how much I love Mary. She was with the last people at the cross and she is first there on Easter morning. Whilst the disciples had fled and hidden away, she had shown up. She does not know where the body has gone from the tomb and sees Jesus but thinks he is the gardener. He then says “Mary” and she immediately knows its Jesus. She reaches to him. What a heart stopping moment after the horror of Good Friday.
Jesus calls Mary by name. It echoes the words in Isaiah, “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine.”
That applies to each of us. We are called by name and we are God`s. We are loved with an everlasting and unconditional love. God, in Jesus loves his church but he loves each of us as individuals. He calls us each by name.
Mary wanted to hug and hold onto Jesus like she had done before but Jesus says she must not hold onto him. We can empathise with Mary`s desire and how she must have felt not to have been able to.
Mary then ran to the disciples “ I have seen the Lord.” Mary Magdalene the apostle to the apostles”
The early apostles turned the world upside down – I pray that we will have the desire to do likewise. Perhaps be more like Jesus and break the rules.
I pray that you all continue to stay safe, that you will continue to reflect on how incredibly loved you are and to continue to live in the hope of the resurrection – remembering as Christians we are people of the resurrection in a Good Friday world..