Easter 2011

Tragedy is an inescapable feature of our landscape.

Natural disasters – man made catastrophe;

wars and rumours of war

elections, conspiracies, abuse and neglect

this is the stuff of our lives.

We recognize that – even if we don’t like it much.

We dream of different stuff; carefree times, rest and recreation

through movies and books and campaign promises, we are tempted to believe that better things are possible

but these waking dreams don’t seem to last.

All too soon we are confronted with grim reality – prices rise – wages frozen –

unstable economy means uncertain future – the tragic tumble takes us down.
This is the reality that Jesus lived. Born in obscurity – raised in the poverty of an oppressive police state – marginalized by his religious opinions, scorned as a hopeless dreamer.

Jesus of Nazareth was well acquainted with tragedy, the likes of which we can barely imagine.

And yet he refused to abandon the hope that was in him.

That hope drove him to commit his life to the things of God,

in a time when God was being ground into the fabric of a nations politics –

God’s representatives have allied themselves with the state,

to assure their safety and to assure their feeble hold on what passed for power.

His commitment to God’s path drew attention to Jesus

he made friends, he attracted students – he made enemies –

but mostly he lived hopefully in the midst of human tragedy.

That tragedy reached a pinnacle during the Passover festival.

Jesus’ enemies were worried – his followers were growing – his ideas were unsettling the balance of power, causing people to ask searching questions.

Betrayal was the way of it – an appeal to one man’s greed -an offer quickly accepted,

a midnight arrest, a sham trial.

The judge (Pilate) had no heart for the game until they played on his political weakness.

And thus we find that hope gave way to tragedy yet again.

The tragedy of brutal execution and a hasty burial.

But today – the first day of a new era – the day that hope is reborn.

For in their grief the disciples are met by this wonderous news –

the grave is empty – the body, gone!

Today, hope comes to a weeping woman, who can’t see past the tragedy until Jesus calls her name.

Today hope meets us in light and music and colour and ceremony

as we put once again the things of God ahead of our own wants and worries.

Hope meets us in Jesus, once dead but now forever raised,

who has know our tragedy and overcome it –

who offers us a new way to meet God – a new way to explain the rough and tumble way of the world

a new and better way to order our lives,

Love one another…as I (and as God) have loved you”

Jesus would draw us from our futility – from our groundless dreams of “something better”

and show us something better in himself –

He shows us that it is possible to love through thick and thin – through trial and temptation

shows us hope that doesn’t come from success, or power, or privilege, but from God.

Our hope, friends, is not a commodity to be bargained for – available only to the highest bidder

our hope comes to us in our fear, in our uncertainty,

even in our deepest grief;

speaks our name in love,

and leads us to the kingdom of God.

Rejoice with me in this certain truth;

Jesus is Risen – death holds no fear, and therefore nothing can terrify us –

our path is bathed in hope, thanks to God’s great love for us.

Rejoice and be glad – our Redeemer is come!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: