Easter in North America comes in the spring—an eagerly awaited time. It is a pleasure to observe colour returning to the landscape, delicate buds on trees and flowering shrubs, and longer hours of light. Although spring’s new life happens every year our spirits are warmly touched by the gift of new life.
The Gospel narrative of Holy Week and Easter tells of God’s power to change the tragedy of the Crucifixion into a glorious new beginning for the disciples and other friends of Jesus. This change resulted in word and action making real the message that Christ the Word of God is alive and very present in the world.
Before Good Friday Jesus was the one who gave meaning and hope to the disciples. By the evening of Good Friday their hopes and dreams were destroyed. Holy Saturday must have been a time of sorrowful reflection. On the First Day of the week, the morning of the Resurrection, Jesus arose from death and appeared more radiant and alive than the disciples had ever known. The power of God’s new life began to work in the lives and hearts of those whom the Lord called as followers. In time they were transformed from despair to passionate love. Their transformation enabled others to experience the beauty of God’s creation, hope in place of despair, light in place of darkness, love in place of hate, and joy in place of sorrow.
Our Lord Jesus offers new life to us; the power to love again, to trust again when trust was betrayed, to hope again when hope had grown dim; and to smile again when tears have been spent.
“When our hearts are wintry, greiving, or in pain,
Christ’s touch can call us back to life again,
fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
love is come again like wheat that springeth green.”
— John Macleod Campbell Crum, Easter Hymn, ‘Now the Green Blade Riseth’
May we welcome the festival of the Resurrection as a celebration of new life, new hope, and new purpose.
Alleluia, Christ is risen; the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
David Bryan Hoopes OHC