I didn’t blog yesterday, I was too tired and out of words, words had filled my week, liturgies and prayers, sermons and meditations all set alongside conversations both deep and at surface level.
Unlike many of my colleagues I began Easter morning at home, I did not have a sunrise service to lead and so I allowed the morning hours to unfold quietly. I was awake early even with the hours clock change, and what would have been an hours les sleep. A left over tickle in my throat from the flu had me up and coughing at 5:30am so I came down stairs and made tea.
It makes a change for me to be able to relish the quiet of my normally quiet house, but yesterday with three visiting family members asleep upstairs, the morning took on a different dynamic, I was alone but not alone. After reading and praying at my candle lit prayer station, I checked Facebook, and there was a certain thrill to the knowledge that all over the country friends were waking ( or returning from sunrise services) and proclaiming “Alleluia, he is risen.”
Responses poured in to each proclamation “He is risen indeed, Alleluia!” In the candle lit dawning of a grey day these seemed both quiet and soft, a whisper in the dawning of the new day, a surprise like a shaft of sunlight breaking through dark clouds and gently caressing the bare earth.
Once again I reflected that resurrections truth and power was both surprising and shocking to those who encountered it, but also a slow dawning process, as news spread from one to another of Jesus loved ones and followers. Alongside the shock and surprise, confusion, fear and doubt went hand in hand. As the weeks between Easter Day and Pentecost roll forward we will see that doubt and fear turn to faith, often quietly, gently, brining with it wonder, awe, restoration and forgiveness.
Over the next two weeks I am preparing to speak words of faith and life into the face of death on three separate occasions, beginning tomorrow, and believing with all of my heart that death does not and will not have the last word no matter how bleak and heartbreaking it is at this time. In the words “I am the resurrection and the life” hope springs forth as both a comfort and a challenge, for they dare us to see differently, to place ourselves into the context of eternity where all has been created and will be made new.
Our lives, no matter how good we are at living them are usually a bunch of contradictions, doubts, griefs and fears intermingled with joys, loves and high points, our relationships usually reflect the same patterns. In this we join in with the longing and groaning of creation longing for fulfilment, in shore, we need resurrection! We need to follow the pattern that Jesus has given us, and if we allow our lives to be peppered with little deaths we will learn to grow in grace and love, for these little deaths, these events that ask us to give ourselves away open us to life in a new way. Perhaps it is no accident that the French call the aftermath of love making “la petit mort”, or that the mystics often use errotic laguage to describe their prayer lives and relationship with God.
That however is really an aside, so I come back to allowing resurrection to dawn slowly in our lives, for we were woth the effort, worth labouring over in the garden, worth dying for, and we are worth waiting for. In truth the wonder and depth of such love is too much for our small hearts to take in, sometimes we may catch a glimpse of it and it will bring us to our knees or take our breath away. More often I suspect we grow organically and slowly, and sometimes the seeds of truth may lay dormant for a long time waiting to be called to life…
So yesterday as we pondered Jesus resurrection and acknowledged it with Alleluias, I reflect that we were celebrating a new beginning, a new possibility if we dare to let it do its work in us ( again).
Risen friend,in this joyous season, as we run or hesitate to greet you, grant us courageous hearts To turn from the comforts of the life that is past, to welcome the slow dawn of ressurection. AMEN