Dear Friends in Christ,
Alleluia! Christ is risen. May his grace and peace be with you, and may he fill our hearts with joy.
So much happened in the hours between sundown on the Friday when Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus laid the body of Jesus in the tomb, and the pre-dawn hours on the first day of the week
when, according to the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene made her lonely, solitary trek and found
that tomb empty. None of that time is recorded in the Gospels. Written word is suspended, leaving
us with our imaginations as to what happened. We can imagine the pain; the soul-destroying grief;
the shattered hope. Yet, early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, while she was still
subsumed with disbelief at the events that she had witnessed, Mary walked into something she never
could have predicted.
The message of Holy Week and Easter is that God will go to any lengths to be with us. The message
of Holy Week and Easter is that God will never be separated from us – ever, no matter what. God
shows us on God Friday that no matter how depraved humanity is, God refuses to reject us and will
hang with us on our cross. God shows us on Easter Sunday that where there was once death, there
is a new and resurrected life. True freedom comes when death no longer holds sway over us.
We are witnessing in our world today atrocities, evil, and death, and understandably, we may despair.
But we are an Easter people. The Rev’d Dr. Sam Wells writes: “Good Friday is the day we look back,
and see how profoundly God has always loved us, and how allergic we’ve always been to that love
and purpose. Easter is the day we look forward, to when the story finally comes to an end, when
evil disappears into a black hole, when all doomed quests for power collapse into a big crunch, and
we become seeds in a glowing sunflower.” 1
As we are able to come together this Easter for the first time in two years, let us rejoice in the
indestructible hope that God offers us in Christ Jesus.
The Reverend Canon Catherine Ascah