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Reverend Jonathon's Easter Reflection

5th April 2019

Easter is a story we take part in today by being GOOD NEWS

There can be and often is a temptation to be a bit dismissive or indifferent to the Easter story. It’s just a religious story or it’s probably made up or it’s not for me or maybe there’s something in it but it’s just not relevant to me. I’ve got my exams coming up. How on earth does the story apply to my life? I’ve got problems at home or at school. I’m uncertain about the future. I feel like bit of a failure. I feel alone. Actually things are going ok I don’t need religion or faith.

But it strikes me that there are probably two key questions we need to ask ourselves about the Easter story. The first is simply is it true or false? If it is false then the whole of Christianity collapses. It might as well pack its bags and go home. Jesus dying on the cross was abject failure and he was not who he said was. Christians for the last 2000 years or so have just got it wrong. Wishful thinking. Let’s move on.

Or the story could be true. And if it is true it absolutely changes everything. I happen to believe it is true. Why? Well based on the evidence of the empty tomb and the eye witness accounts. Over 500 people witnessed the risen Christ. As one high court judge recently put it “based on all the evidence before us no reasonable jury could possibly come to any other conclusion than the resurrection did in fact happen.”

So if we pause for a moment and imagine it is true any ideas about it being just a nice story or strange religious nonsense with no relevance just don’t come into it. And this brings me to the second question. If it is true how is it relevant to us? Well it tells us that God is real, he intervenes in the world and wants love and justice to prevail. Death and all the bad stuff in the world is not the end of the story. It’s not going to win because it didn’t win at the first Easter. The resurrection tells us that God’s power is undefeatable, unparalleled and that he is utterly for life and for us.

And it’s that word ‘life’ which is the key to why we eat chocolate eggs at Easter. The egg symbolises new life as the resurrection – the first Easter - shows us we can have life in all its fullness through knowing God.

The people who have won Real Easter Easter Eggs are all in different ways living out the Easter story. Why? Because they are being really good news in our community. By what they say and do…changing the lives of people around them for the good. Showing us that sadness or conflict are not the end of the story. In fact every act of kindness and generosity, of forgiveness and reconciliation carried out by any one of us is the Easter story present in our lives. If God is love and if God intervenes for the good (which the Easter story tells us he does) is God not in our community working out his purposes? And when lives are changed. People consoled. Help given and so on. That is the best news, the best story ever and I think worth celebrating.

Rev J