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Revd Sara's Reflections - w/c 31st March 2024

Easter Sunday Reflection 2024 Bible Reading: John 20:1-18 

Happy Easter! Christ is risen – he is risen indeed! Hallelujah! The Lord’s day is here, the day when we remember that light is stronger than dark, hope is stronger than despair, love is stronger than hate. Resurrection is all around me this day, Loving God, help me to notice that, and see new life breaking through. Amen.

There is absolutely nothing normal about Easter. It should always be the most extraordinary of all days. Even though we have heard the story a hundred times and welcomed the risen Christ with song, in our hearts if not our mouths, we can never allow familiarity to be confused with normality. Even when we have endured a number of Easter days over the past few years that have meant a change of tradition and a different way of sharing that message.

Today’s passage from John’s Gospel does a brilliant job of making this point for us. Jesus has repeatedly and passionately told his followers that his death will not be an ordinary death. Yet, when the unthinkable has happened and Jesus has been crucified, his followers take solace in the traditions of mourning.

We meet Mary Magdalene, early in the morning as she makes her journey to the tomb in which Jesus has been placed. We hear of her shock and upset as she discovers the tomb empty and her desperate flight to Peter and another of the disciples. Explaining to them what has happened, we can hear her confusion as the ordinary is disturbed and grief compounded. When the disciples arrive at the tomb they see for themselves, and finding the usual grave clothes that wrapped Jesus’ body are empty.

Even then, even with all they have been told and all that they can see, they still cannot yet fathom the extraordinary thing has taken place. After this, when Mary comes face to face with the risen Jesus, she still struggles at first to break through the conditioning of her mind. When Jesus speaks to her she first thinks he is simply the gardener. It’s only when Jesus uses her name that the illusion is shattered and she begins to understand exactly how wonderful her situation has now become. Once realisation dawns, Mary rushes to tell the other disciples the story of the risen Lord beginning a wave of hope and expectancy that reaches forward to us as Christ’s church today.

So how then, are we to respond to the extraordinary events of Easter?

What is God calling you to do?

I do believe, that the extraordinary events of Easter call us into an extraordinary response. A response where we are wiling to sacrifice our lives to God each and every day. To see the power of God in everything around us, to be enthralled by his creation and to seek, always to build his kingdom. With that as our focus, even the things that we fear may be ordinary are transformed into the remarkable. Easter is never ‘ordinary’. If you follow Christ, neither are you!

Questions for pondering or sharing with a friend

Where do you see the extraordinary power of Christ’s resurrection in your life and the life of others around you?

What ‘ordinary’ things that you do could become extraordinary, if you consciously gave them over to God?

Wishing you a very happy Easter love and prayers Revd Sara

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