Boldly I declare: Happy Easter Everyone!
It feels a bit funny writing that after the year that we’ve all just been through. As a Christian one of the challenges of Easter this year is how to celebrate resurrection in a content of 135,000 lives being lost to Covid-19 in the UK since last Easter. For many it will be their first Easter without a loved one, for some grief will be new and raw and the resurrection that Christians celebrate at Easter seems an incongruous intrusion on their grief. And let’s face it – It is. How can we think of resurrection in a context of overwhelming loss?
The resurrection can be so offensive when you are in a place of raw grief. It might bring hope to some but for others in that moment it’s just plain rude! Perhaps that’s because resurrection is about hope, and in an experience of overwhelming loss it can feel like all hope has been extinguished.
But for me as a person who has experienced loss it has meant holding onto the smallest glimmer of hope when darkness envelops, and even though this year has been one of loss it has also been one where we have seen glimmers of hope. I see NHS workers literally giving their lives to help others live, I see newly born babies held up to windows of care homes as old and young eyes meet for the first time, I see community groups organising and caring for those around them, I see volunteers at fare share trying to get food to the people who need it most. And it all brings me hope. It says that death is one part of the story and a part that must never be glossed over, but there is another part to that story and that is the story of hope.
Sometimes even when hope feels like just a glimmer we choose to take the brave step into declaring hope. A declaration of hope, which is what I believe the resurrection to be, is a declaration that you believe that love wins, and whether that is the human spirit overcoming isolation or Christ breaking from the tomb, resurrection is a view on the world that says love wins. It doesn’t say there is no such thing as pain and suffering and loss, but it does say, that when all is said and done and all have passed away one thing remains and that is love. In a book written 1,800 years ago to a community in Corinth we’re reminded of this, ‘now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love’
That’s what I’ll hold onto this Easter and that’s why I’m brave enough to say – Happy Easter.