We are in the season of Easter. It’s the season when we consciously and deliberately remind ourselves that in spite of all the things that oppress us, or limit us, or harass us, or indeed crucify us, we believe that there is life above and beyond all that. It is a season of celebration.
And yet, as we read the accounts in the gospels of Jesus’ appearances to the disciples after his rising, it is also a time when we need to be repeatedly reminded and reassured of the truth of all this. For the disciples, their memories of suffering and bereavement were so recent and so raw that the possibility, never mind the reality, of something else, something new, was difficult to cope with, difficult to process, hard to believe. For us, even after all this time, it can still be difficult.
We can do what people have done in all the intervening years: we can read the accounts, we can sing the songs, we can involve ourselves in the celebrations – and yet live as if it were not actually true, not actually for us, for our time, for our lives.
It’s easy to see why. Think of the wars, the plagues, the catastrophes, and the everyday illness and difficulty and oppression that people have always had to work with and work through.
And yet, isn’t it amazing how this rumour of new life refuses to go away? Through all the scars of history this thread of hope can be seen and followed. In face of poverty and death we insist on the possibility and the reality of life – real life, life in all its fullness, life before death, life eternal.
The resurrection that this season celebrates calls us to live lives of resurrection, lives that lift the lives around us, lives that promote life everywhere. We do need sometimes to be reminded and to be reassured – but mostly we need to remember that we are called to be the reminders and to be the reassurance. We are called to be the risen life of Jesus.
Yours in Christ,