Rev Paul Lawlor:
We find ourselves in interesting times, a time of doubt, a time of disagreements, and perhaps most of all, a time when we don’t know what the future will bring.
Our calendar also places us at an interesting time of the year.
Easter moves each year; the date fixed by a lunar calendar. As a result, it can move by about 28 days. However, it is not just working out the date of Easter, which is challenging, how challenging do you find the Easter story?
How does Easter compare with Christmas for you?
Even if we don’t engage with the Christian aspect of Christmas, we still get the ‘good will’ and present giving part, and, we know the story.
An unusual birth, angels, shepherd and wise men. God coming to earth.
Perhaps you struggle with parts of the story but the overall message we can usually cope with.
Now Easter is altogether different. Firstly, it doesn’t attract the same excitement from the world of advertising and retail.
Yes, I know we have Easter Eggs and hot cross buns and the world does turn somewhat yellow with bunnies and chicks popping up.
If we are lucky, we enjoy the holiday, or perhaps we catch up on some DIY.
I am not sure we find it easy to connect to the Easter Story itself; the story that is central to the Christian Faith.
The story moves us on from the infant Jesus to Jesus at the close of three years of public ministry, three years of teaching and miraculous acts, three years of Jesus unsettling the religious and political leaders of His time.
The Bible tells us of a betrayal, a sham trial, some weak leadership, which gives in to the demands of a whipped-up crowd and handing down an unjust sentence.
The Gospels speak of an horrific death. Not the stuff of parties, celebration and rejoicing, but we’ve only made it to Good Friday.
On Easter Sunday the Christian Church throughout the world remembers the most remarkable of events; Jesus is discovered alive!
He is risen from the dead; this is worthy of celebration.
Easter gives us the conclusion to the Christmas story.
Easter reveals that God loves us so much that He not only came to live with us, but was also willing to die for us and reveal to us that there is potential for a relationship with God now and into eternity.
So, perhaps this holiday doesn’t have the popularity of Christmas, but it really is the most import holiday we can mark.
Easter speaks of hope a hope beyond anything a politician can promise, a hope that is beyond anything that having wealth can bring. Such a hope can bring us together in a time when so many would push us apart.