Rev Dave’s Easter Message 2024

The journey of Lent has ended, and the pilgrimage is over. Our fasting is complete; now we can feast and celebrate. We have travelled with Jesus from the harshness of the desert to the new life coming from the empty tomb. Having walked with Jesus as we carried our cross, we now share in and experience the joy and power of his resurrection.

When we look at the news on our televisions or read it our newspapers we are all very well aware of all the hardship and pain that exists in our world today. There isn’t a day that goes by were we don’t read the story of a random act of terrorism or a tragedy of one kind or another. There are painful scenes of war, famine and terrorism on our televisions, most if not every evening. In our own country and communities there are senseless acts of violence that leave families grieving for the death of a loved one. How are we meant to celebrate Easter in such difficult circumstances?

Even at the time of Jesus there was inequality, injustice, and poverty. He would have seen it, experienced it and been very familiar with it. But it is into that world that he came with the good news of the Kingdom of God. And it is into our world today that Jesus comes with the same good news. It is in and through our world today that we experience and share in his resurrection.

The trial and crucifixion of Jesus must have been such a painful and even disappointing experience for his friends, followers and family. They had placed such hope in Jesus; in his preaching, his teaching and in his miracles. Then they had to stand and watch as he was betrayed, condemned, beaten and then crucified. They stood and watched him die.

In it is in and through our ordinary daily lives and our world today that Jesus comes risen from the tomb. The resurrected Jesus comes to us as we are. But he also comes as he is; through the power of God, he is resurrected and comes to us with the gift of new and everlasting life.

Death has not had the final say. Where there was despair, God brings us hope. Where there was darkness, God has bright light. Where there was death, God bring us not just life, but new and everlasting life. These are the gifts that God offers each of through the resurrection of Jesus.

In a world where there is often the reality of suffering, violence and injustice, we are called to be people of hope. This is not ordinary human hope. This is the hope that comes to us through the resurrection of Jesus. In the face of sadness, difficulty and pain, we are called to look to and rely on the resurrected Jesus and not just on our strength and resources.

The call, invitation and even challenge of Easter is that I experience it personally deep within myself. I am called to be an Easter person, a person of the resurrection. I am called and asked to be person who is filled with the new life and hope of the resurrected Jesus. It is this living hope, as disciples of Jesus, that we share with the world around us. We live as hope in our town, in our community, amongst our friends and family. We may be tempted to give in and give up the world as it is today. However, because we now share in the powerful resurrection of Jesus, we are to live our daily lives full of Easter hope. As Christians, we must never look like people who have just come back from a funeral! Death has been beaten. Can we as God’s Easter people show to the world, that even amongst the pain, we can be filled with the light, joy, life, and the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus. The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia!