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Bringing Easter Home9 months ago
Kevin Roberts shares some thoughts about celebrating Easter at home
Bringing Easter Home
Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
It was great saying those words on Easter morning. Triumphal words. A victory shout. A cry of tearful relief even, that sin and death don’t have the final say. That God is doing something so much bigger and so much better, not only in us and for us, but in an entirely new creation as it bursts from the tomb on that first Easter morning. I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear the Easter message this year more than ever!
Like most of you it was a different kind of Easter for Anne and me. We said the Easter acclamations at home. We listened to Easter sermons in our kitchen. We ate bread and drank wine at our dining table. We sang the great Easter hymns with the sounds reverberating around our garden, imagine it!
And so much of the worship on Easter Day was led from people’s homes: the Archbishop’s kitchen; our bishop’s garden at sunrise; my Vicar’s front room a bit later in the morning; then later still the scattered homes of church leaders across Telford as we joined together from our separate places in united praise of our risen Lord Jesus.
Oh, I have missed the regular routines of Easter worship, as I guess we all have. I have missed the church buildings decorated for the greatest festival of our year. I have missed worshipping with the company of God’s people. I have missed gathering around the Lord’s table and eating the victory feast with sisters and brothers in Christ. I have even missed blowing the cobwebs off my trumpet and playing Thine be the Glory, no holds barred! Others may have missed that rather less than I have!
But, you know, it has also been great to bring Easter home!
It has been a deeply life giving experience to celebrate the resurrection in our own place, and behind our own locked doors. And to be reminded, as we did that in our estate house in Telford, that the risen Jesus comes into the ordinary and real and private, even hidden, places of our lives, and right there meets us with his transforming love and grace.
We know that God has a plan for the whole world, a salvation plan that will play out on a vast, immeasurable canvas. A new creation, no less, that began in a tomb on the first Easter morning. But (what astonishing Easter news) the risen Jesus still has time for us, me, each of us, in our small lives and small places and personal spaces, with our all too real fears and feelings.
Just as the risen Jesus met the first fearful disciples on the evening of the first Easter Day, he steps through the walls of our upper rooms. He turns up behind our locked doors. He breaths peace into our coronavirus fears, and his Spirit into our weaknesses, and his joy into our isolation and sadness. He meets us in our locked-down homes and in all our anxieties about the present and the future.
Indeed, he encounters us in our personal space, and then enrolls us in the greatest of all privileges, to be co-workers with him in the public space, as he builds a kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven. “As the Father sent me”, he says, “I am sending you.” And for that great task and commission “he breathed on them and said ‘receive the Holy Spirit.’”
Alleluia, Christ is risen!
Alleluia, that we can bring Easter home!
As Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “I must stay at your house today”